How To Make a Stylized Character For Games in ZBrush and 3ds Max
FGT3D Hunter Challenge organized by the TPN-Accredited cloud rendering services provider, Fox Renderfarm, was started in June, 2021 and sponsored by our amazing sponsors, including Corona Renderer, TopoGun, Friendly Shade, Graswald, Raysync, Textures.com, Texturebox, iCube R&D Group and Marmoset. After the selection by our jury, 3 Professional artworks and 3 Student artworks were picked and would be awarded the prizes provided by our amazing sponsors. Congratulations to all the winners! And thanks to everyone for participating!!FGT3D Hunter Challenge is now open for submissions!The third-place winner of the Student Category is Antoine Destailleurs! Congratulations! His artwork, The Hunter, stands out for its great design and detail to the armor and human-like body.“The use of colors and the contrast between the flexible fabric and metal parts are very effective. The character looks to have powerful arms and legs while being very lightweight. The design makes me believe that the character must be able to move extremely fast and jump high. It makes sense the character's name is Swift.” One of our judges, Miho Aoki said, who is the Associate Professor of Computer Art University of Alaska Fairbanks.Here’s the interview between Antoine and Fox Renderfarm, in which we can find out how he created this wonderful 3D Hunter.!The Hunter © Antoine DestailleursThe Hunter © Antoine Destailleurs - Antoine Destailleurs- 3D Character Artist @Asobo- France Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Antoine! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?Antoine: Hi, I’m Antoine Destailleurs. I'm 25 years old and I’m currently working at Asobo as a Character Artist intern in order to validate my Master’s Degree. I learned 3D modeling at Supinfogame RUBIKA, a school located at Valenciennes, France. I’ve always been interested in creating characters and playing video games so I mixed both of these passions into what is now my work! Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning 3rd place in the Student Category of the FGT3D Hunter Challenge, how do you feel about that?Antoine: Thanks, I’m really happy to bea part of the winners of this challenge, everyone did a really great job! Fox Renderfarm: How long did you finish the work, The Hunter?Antoine: The Hunter was part of the work I did for SWIFT, my graduation project, so I didn’t not really count the hours I put into it but I guess that it took me around 2 month from the design to the final 3D model. Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use?Antoine: I only used Zbrush for modeling, 3D Coat for the retopology, 3ds Max for unwrapping my model and having a clean scene to work on to prepare my bake and finally, Substance Painter for the baking and texturing of my character. Fox Renderfarm: What’s the inspiration behind your artwork? Any references?Antoine: My main inspiration to design my character’s body was Alita. I loved how subtle and elegant her arms looked so I tried to keep that in mind. And for the outfit there was no major reference but I'd say that I found some inspirations in Dishonored, Assassin’s Creed and Middle-East culture.!FIRST CONCEPTS - SWIFT!designing classes - swift!designing classes - swift Fox Renderfarm: Great design and detail to the armor and clothing, and then what sets it apart for me is on top of this human-like body we have the surprise of their head seemingly being made from magical green fire! How did you make it?Antoine: Thanks, this cosmic energy was one of the main features of our characters. I made it using cylinders, fire textures that tiled on the UVs and some emissive, nothing complicated here. But The in-game trails were actually created by Nicolas Ceriani, who’s currently working as a VFX Intern at Riot Games. He created our VFX using Shuriken from Unity.!designing the body -swift!key poses tests - swift!swift!swift!swift!swift Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?Antoine: No particular difficulties, but I learned Hard Surface modeling in Zbrush with this project so I actually spent more time than necessary on the character’s body but that’s part of the learning process ! We also had a massive rework of the art direction during the pre-production so I had to design new characters to fit our newly established art direction. Here again, no particular difficulties but it took a lot of time. Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?Antoine: For this project, as I said earlier, Vitaly Bulgarov’s Alita was a major inspiration. But in general I spend a lot of time browsing Artstation to find fantastic characters to inspire me. Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey? Antoine: I’ve recently finished my studies at Supinfogame RUBIKA in Valenciennes, France. During which I had to do multiple internships. I did my first internship as Pixel Artist for a game developed by Clean Cut Games called Hairdash. Then I did two internships at Appeal Studios as a 3D Character Artist this time. I learned a lot about character creation and had the opportunity to work on an ambitious next-gen game that will be announced during THQ Nordic’s digital showcase. And finally, I’m currently working on A Plague Tale: Requiem at Asobo as a 3D Character Artist intern. Here again, I’m learning a lot about character creation! I don’t know if my internship will result in an employment yet, so if someone’s looking for a Character Artist… hey :) ! Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?Antoine: I’ve learned a lot of things just by watching speedculpts and conferences on youtube. You can find all the knowledge you need for free on the internet so just look for it ! Also don’t be afraid to fail and keep working! Fox Renderfarm: What do you think of the FGT3D Challenge, any suggestions for us?Antoine: I think it’s a great opportunity to discover new artists and to expose your work to people ! No suggestions, it was great! Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any advice for future participants in the competition?Antoine: Just do your best to have a result that satisfies you and on which you've learned new stuff!
How a Team of 3 Made an Incredible Short and Won the Draft Selection of the Rookies Awards 2021
Fox Renderfarm Interview
On a lone desert road, a grizzled old man crosses paths with an exhausted boy, barefoot in a hospital gown. As the boy collapses, the good samaritan rushes to get him help ... RUNAWAY Piers Shepherd-Rose, Callum McKay, and Paulina Rybakaitė made this amazing short movie come true and won the Draft Selection of the Rookies Awards 2021, which is sponsored by the world-leading cloud rendering services provider, Fox Renderfarm.!The RookiesPiers Shepherd-Rose- Jr. Animator at Industrial Light & Magic- From: UKCallum McKay- Roto / Prep Artist at Union Visual Effects- From: UKPaulina Leonarda Rybakaitė- Junior Modeler at Industrial Light & Magic- From: UKThe dedicated team accepted Fox Renderfarm’s interview and shared with us contentful details about their creative process.!RUNAWAY Fox Renderfarm: Hi guys, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you briefly introduce yourself respectively?Callum: We’re all recent graduates from the University of Hertfordshire! Our graduate film, RUNAWAY, had us all taking on a variety of roles but primarily Callum was our Lighting and Compositing artist, Piers was our Art Director and Animator, and Paulina was our Character Modelling and Texture artist. Fox Renderfarm: Congrats on winning the Draft Selection of the Rookies Awards 2021, how do you feel about winning the prize? Callum: It was both an incredible and humbling experience for us to make it as far as the Draft Selection in the Rookies! We are incredibly proud of ourselves and how far our project has come. Fox Renderfarm: The plot is so intriguing in this animated short. What’s your inspiration for this short?Paulina: There were a lot of inspirations for particular elements of the story. We went through a lot of iterations of the plot until we were satisfied with it. It definitely helped to have great examples of short films that had effective storytelling and developed a specific atmosphere like Yona (2019) and the Witness (2019). We always went back to them to draw inspiration not only for the plot but also to understand how visual elements and specific styles help to build the whole world of the film. We also decided that we wanted to go with a specific time period the film would be set in and we chose the 80s as we liked the aesthetic of those times and it made sense for our plot to develop in those times. For that, we did a lot of research for both visual and aural elements. We looked at films like Fish Night (2019), Badlands (1973), Star Trek (1966) for both the environment settings as we wanted our film to be based in the Nevada desert and some plot elements that could be useful for our story. It made us excited to combine both - the 80s and its aesthetic with supernatural elements which was quite challenging to tackle at first. We wanted to make the film feel as if it is part of a bigger story so we had to figure how to use that one minute and a half effectively with all the elements working in harmony together.Yona (2019)!The Witness 2019The Witness (2019)!Fish Light 2019Fish Light (2019)Badlands (1973)Star Trek (1966) Fox Renderfarm: Could you introduce the task allocation in the creative process to us?Callum: As we were a small team, we had to wear a lot of hats during production but primarily our task allocation was as follows:Callum McKay - Lighting, Rendering & Compositing. Cloth Simulation.Piers Shepherd-Rose - Concept & Art Direction, AnimationPaulina Rybakaitė - Character Modeling & Texturing Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use for the animated short?Paulina: We used a wide range of software. Maya was the main software we used for certain bits of production like environment modeling, animation and lighting for example. For something specific like cloth simulation, we used Houdini. Character modeling was done mainly within Zbrush, Maya and Marvelous Designer. All the assets were textured in Substance Painter. And then finally, the film was rendered with Arnold renderer and put together and composited in Nuke. Fox Renderfarm: The lighting plays such an important role in creating the American road’s mid-night vibe and the suspension feeling in the short. How did you manage to set the lighting?Piers: As an initial part of our pre-production process, we developed a number of 2D concept paintings to quickly explore lighting ideas and help hone in on our visual style before developing our 3D assets. When we then came to create our 3D previsualization passes for the film, we were able to block-in our lighting using these paintings as reference - which further influenced our final lighting choices for the film once we had finalized our characters and set design. We strived to be very purposeful in our lighting & colour choices, in not only creating clear focal points for the audience, but also hinting at characterization through their design & placement. We designed the two main colours used throughout the film to be representative of the two main characters, and to highlight the contrast between them - this might not be immediately obvious for the audience, but we found it rewarding in development to consider every aspect of the visuals as thematically-linked to the narrative. Fox Renderfarm: The style of the characters is very unique which combines the oil painting and wooden texture. Why did you choose this special design? What’s the process of creating these 2 characters?Piers: We drew inspiration from a number of visually striking short animated films, including Alberto Mielgo’s The Witness & Kevin "Teau" Rose & Gautier Alfirevic’s YONA. We especially enjoyed how they blended 2D & 3D techniques to create unique visuals, specific to each film. !The WitnessThe Witness!YONA © Kevin Teau Rose & Gautier Alfirevic-1!YONA © Kevin Teau Rose & Gautier Alfirevic-2YONA © Kevin "Teau" Rose & Gautier AlfirevicTo create our characters, we began by researching into our chosen time period & setting, and collated lots of images that we could use to inform our design choices. From this research, we created 2D concept paintings for each character & explored different iterations for each - including variations on costumes, as well as alternate face designs. Once we had settled on a final design for each character, we started to build them in 3D. Eventually, the characters were textured, taken through look-development, and had a character rig built for each of them - which would ultimately be used by our animator to develop the final performances for each shot.!Runaway!Runaway!Runaway!Runaway!Runaway!Runaway Fox Renderfarm: When it comes to animation, we found the camera moves help the whole short draw the attention of the audience. Any special consideration behind the animation process? Piers: In regards to the camerawork, whilst they were entirely CG cameras, we set out to keep them as grounded as possible in realism - As in our visual design, the cameras operated realistically, we wanted to keep this consistent through their movement. We tried to consider how each shot might be achieved in real life with real cameras, & allowed this to inform our choices as to how we used them in the film. We also put thought into how specific camera movements evoked certain feelings to the audience, such as how a slow push-in might invite closer attention and immerse the audience into the scene. We went as far as to add tiny micro-movements to the camera animation for each shot, to further help bring them closer to realism.!Runaway -7 Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties in the creative process? How did you solve them?Piers: Every day there was a new problem to solve! As a 3, we were quick to discuss potential issues and sought ways to navigate around them as best we could. At one point during production, our initial composer & sound designer tied to the project had to unfortunately leave her role due to personal reasons. Moving quickly, & thanks to a certain sound-licensing website, we were able to edit & finish the music and sound for the film entirely ourselves.!Runaway -8 Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take to finish the whole project?Callum: We had A LOT of ideas before coming up with RUNAWAY and it took us around six months of ideas generation before all agreeing on an idea that we really liked during September of 2020. After that, we set about developing the narrative as well as our visual style before eventually moving into full-fledged production which finished in June 2021. Fox Renderfarm: We are amazed that you created such a quality short with only 3 artists. Could you introduce the pipeline to us? Did you and your teammates do anything special to make the communication and cooperation efficient and effective?Piers: Thank you! Whilst we developed & led the project as a 3, we certainly couldn’t have done it without the help from a small number of ‘freelancers’ who filled in essential roles where we couldn’t. Our pipeline for the film reflected a fairly typical CG pipeline. Beginning in pre-production, the key stages included: Concept design, Pre-visualization, Modeling, Texturing, Look-development, Rigging, Animation, Cloth Simulation, Lighting & Compositing.As a small team working from home, organization & communication were essential - We used a project management application to keep track of our tasks & progress and kept in touch constantly by setting up team voice meetings week to week.!Runaway -9 Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any plan to prolong this animated short or create any other project based on the plot of RUNAWAY?Callum: We currently don’t have any plans on creating anything else based in the world of RUNAWAY although we’re definite that the inspiration and style we have adopted from working on the project will follow us along onto our new projects in the future. Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG? Could you share with us your educational and career experience?Piers: When I was younger I had the typical early dream of being an animator when I grew up - after getting through school & spending some time weighing up other options and working in retail after college, I decided to throw my hat in to properly pursue a degree in animation. This led me to the University of Hertfordshire where I’ve since been able to graduate with First Class Honours! During my time at University, I was fortunate to gain invaluable experience on 2 internships in the industry & since graduating I’ve been exceptionally lucky to start my career with Industrial Light & Magic as a Jr. Animator.Callum: When I was 16 and leaving secondary school here in the UK, I decided I wanted to go and study Games Art at college as I’ve always loved video games. After graduating from that college at 18, I set my eyes on pursuing a degree in it as well at the University of Hertfordshire. Shortly after starting on the course, I found out that there is a lot more than Games Art in the realm of 3D! I found Visual Effects and a little later down the line, compositing.Paulina: I never thought making CG was possible until I came to the UK and started studying at the university and funnily enough I did not have almost any experience with computers or software before it as I was mainly concentrating on traditional art and was aiming to be a 2D animator. When I started the animation course I realized that there are way more specialization opportunities and so I was not purely concentrating on 2D art anymore and tried out as many new things as possible as this course let us to. When I first picked up the 3D software, it amazed me how there were almost no limitations in making digital art, it was just so fun to always try to push yourself more to see what you can achieve and the problem solving aspect of making 3D art always intrigued me since. I am very grateful that our course made us try many different disciplines from the very beginning as because of that I found a big passion in 3D modelling and I am continuing to grow as an artist in that field currently working as Junior Modeller in Industrial Light & Magic. Fox Renderfarm: Any artworks or artists inspire you the most?Piers: I follow a swathe of animators online and am always inspired to see brilliant animation floating around the web - But, if I had to pick someone specific, I’d say I really enjoy the 2D gestural animation style of Glen Keane.Beauty and the Beast (Supervising Animator: Glen Keane)Paulina: There are so many, it is difficult to give only a few names. I try not to only concentrate on 3D artists either as there is so much that can be learned from traditional artists. I have to say though that I have been very inspired by digital artists that emphasize surface texture of models - Maria Panfilova is one of the great examples and she also draws inspiration from amazing traditional sculptors like Beth Cavener. From the realism side, I find Kris Costa’s work very inspiring and I can never get bored observing his portraits.!Beast statue 14 XM Studios © Maria PanfilovaBeast statue 1/4 XM Studios © Maria Panfilova!© Beth Cavener© Beth Cavener!Tribute to H.R. Giger © Kris CostaTribute to H.R. Giger © Kris Costa Fox Renderfarm: What’s your next step?Piers: Stay employed! I’m excited to continue building on my experience as an animator in the industry and will continue to develop my skills where I can and push myself to be as good as I can be. Callum: I just landed a job as a roto/prep artist at Union VFX! The next steps for me are growing my skill sets as both a paint & roto artist and a compositor with aspirations to move onto a fully-fledged compositing role.Paulina: Currently, my main goal is the same as mentioned before - stay employed! I am also concentrating on developing my skills during my free time after work and trying to dedicate at least a few hours per week to work on personal projects when I can. I am very happy with my current position and I am excited to keep learning and growing in this industry. Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services?Callum: When I was first researching various different cloud rendering service solutions for our project, I expected that it would be a complicated and difficult process. But after using Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services, I realised that the service made it so easy and user-friendly to upload scenes, render them, and download the output in a few simple clicks. The customer support was great and the service made organizing our renders a lot easier as each render pass was put into its respective folder during the download as well! We’re definitely over the moon with our experience with Fox Renderfarm.
How to Make an Adventurous Treehouse in Blender
The concept of treehouse spurs a lot of imagination about the romantic or adventurous atmosphere with natural beauty from starry night, jungles to tranquille lakes and so forth. CG Boost set “Treehouse” as the theme of their September challenge, setting a stage to let numerous talented artists to splash their imagination and CG techniques.!CG BOOSTFox Renderfarm, as a world leading cloud rendering service provider, sponsored the great challenge. Plus, we are so honored to have the chance to interview the 1st Place winner - Florian Linke.- Florian Linke- Amateur CG enthusiast- From: Vienna, AustriaThe narrative and mysterious ambient delivered by the artwork catches the jury’s attention alone with the nice lighting and balanced compositing.!Treehouse - Florian Linke Florian about his entry:“The tree house built by survivors out of the remnants of wrecked ships that got lost and crashed down the waterfalls is meant to portray the will of people to not give up and survive, no matter the circumstances.This is my first participation, and during the creation of this project I had to learn about many new things like adaptive subdivision and volumes. It took me the whole month to complete, because I am not very advanced (yet), and overall it was really just a lot of fun experimenting around.”Let’s dig into our interview with Florian and enjoy the creative process altogether. Fox Renderfarm: Hey Florian, congrats on winning the 1st Place in the CGBoost Treehouse Challenge! Could you introduce yourself to us?Florian: Hello there and thank you very much, my name is Florian Linke and I am an amateur CG enthusiast from Vienna, Austria. Fox Renderfarm: The winning artwork is quite narrative and appealing, could you share with us the idea and inspiration behind the artwork?Florian: Both nature and pirates have always been very inspiring to me, and the theme of the challenge seemed to go really well with both. The idea is that some ships got lost and ended up crashing down the waterfalls in the background. After that, the survivors built a new home on the tree, partially out of the remains of the wrecked ships. I always liked the idea of never giving up, and wanted to do my best to portray this idea. Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugin did you use to create the artwork? Florian: I used Blender for the entire scene, and GIMP for some minor color correction. Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take to finish the artwork?Florian: I have been working on the project on and off for around three weeks. It took me so long because I had to experiment a lot with different things, and learn a lot of new stuff to be able to make some elements of the scene. Fox Renderfarm: Could you share with us your creative progress, from modeling to the final rendering?Florian: First, I started with a simple blockout, to get a rough idea for the layout. I changed this around a lot, until I had a better plan.!Treehouse - Florian Linke!Treehouse - Florian LinkeI then started to replace all the placeholder models with new ones, starting with the cliffs, then the tree, the house, and lastly, the background vegetation.The cliffs are just round cubes, stacked and subdivided, and displaced with a height map. The tree was made using Blender’s skin modifier, by intertwining the branches to create a sort of tree hand.!Treehouse - Florian LinkeLastly, I added some mist, tweaked the lighting, and tried to use volumes to make the waterfalls look more convincing. I then added the background vegetation, which was made in the same way as the big tree, and some smaller plants and treetops made from transparent images of leaves and branches.!Treehouse - Florian Linke Fox Renderfarm: The treehouse is the main object in the whole picture, did you model it from scratch? How did you make it vivid while keeping its structure organic? Florian: I first modeled some planks and wooden bars, then arranged them into sort of wall and floor modules, and then built the house itself out of these elements, keeping it all relatively loose and chaotic. After that I just modeled some decorative assets like nets and barrels and placed them on the platforms around the house.!Clay Render -Treehouse - Florian LinkeClay Render Fox Renderfarm: Are there any special considerations behind the texture?Florian: I tried to make everything look a little mossy, without stressing my PC too much, by mixing a moss material into every normal material. The moss on the tree and rocks is always on top, and on the house, it is in the nooks and corners. Fox Renderfarm: The lighting setup plays an important role in creating the atmosphere. How did you arrange the lighting, especially the fog and the detailed lighting in the cave?Florian: I modeled all the mist and fog in the scene as solid objects first, and then used Blender‘’s mesh to volume modifier to get the volume to have the exact shape I needed. The lights in the cave are just regular point lights, placed inside small lantern models. Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulty in the process? How did you solve it?Florian: One of the biggest difficulties was actually the cliffs. I am not super experienced when it comes to 3D art, so I had to experiment and try a lot of different approaches to get it right. Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG? Could you share with us your education and career experience in the CG industry?Florian: The first time I knew that I wanted to learn 3D art, was when I played on the original playstation as a kid. Fox Renderfarm: Could you give some advice to the people who want to step into this industry?Florian: Don’t let anything discourage or intimidate you. Learning 3D art is often hard and complicated, but if you keep at it, it will soon become second nature. There are so many programs and helpful tools as well as tutorials available nowadays, often for free or at a very affordable price, so no matter where you stand, nothing stands in the way of your dream! Fox Renderfarm: Any artwork or artist inspires you the most?Florian: I am a huge fan of the works from Zdzislaw Beksinski, his surreal and disturbing, yet strangely beautiful art really helps with getting new ideas. !Zdzislaw Beksinski© Zdzislaw Beksinski
E-meet Fox Renderfarm @ MIPCOM 2021
MIPCOM, the world’s largest entertainment content market, will be held from October 11-14 at Cannes this year. For people who can’t go to Cannes, you can also participate through the Digital MIPCOM platform, where you can e-meet Fox Renderfarm!- MIPCOM 2021: https://www.mipcom.com/en-gb.html- October 11 - 14, 2021, Cannes- July-November, 2021, onlineMIPCOM is the unmissable rendezvous for the whole content ecosystem. From blockbuster programming to groundbreaking partnerships, every October, the global media and entertainment industry converges in Cannes to turn every moment into an opportunity, transforming four days of exchange and networking, meetings, screenings and conferences, into lasting business.!MIPCOM 2021With its first edition dating back to 1985, MIPCOM stands for “Marché International des Programmes de Communication” from the French “International Market of Communications Programmes” and has ever since evolved to become today the world's leading entertainment content market. Special features include:- Diversity & Inclusion programme including the Diversify TV Excellence Awards- Women in Global Entertainment Lunch- World Premiere TV Screenings- Market Screenings- Media Mastermind Keynotes- Production Funding ForumIntroducing a powerful lead generation, marketing and discovery tool, Digital MIPCOM is a true online complement extending the reach of the physical market in Cannes direct to any device anytime.Register now! We are looking forward to e-meeting you at Digital MIPCOM!
Interview with Robb Innes: Co-founder and Director at PIXL VISN Media Arts Academy
Fox Renderfarm Interview
Fox Renderfarm, the best render farm, is deeply committed to supporting education and wishes to contribute to the development of the CG industry. We are so proud to form cooperation with PIXL VISN Media Arts Academy and offer its students an affordable pricing scheme to support educational purposes.Mr. Robb Innes, Co-founder and Director at PIXL VISN media arts academy shared his story about how he founded the great academy with Fox Renderfarm. Besides his devoted journey in the VFX and animation production education, he gave his advice to CG students and practitioners about how to gradually improve professional skills and go further in the career path. Check out our exclusive interview and don’t miss out a single inspiration.!Robb InnesRobb Innes Co-founder/ Director, PIXL VISN Fox Renderfarm: Hi Robb, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Please briefly introduce yourself? Robb: I’m Robb Innes, one of two founders and directors of PIXL VISN media arts academy in Cologne, Germany. !PIXL VISN Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG and get started in the CG industry? And could you share with us how you set up the wonderful PIXL VISN media arts academy? Robb: When I was a child growing up in Vancouver, Canada, I regularly watched a 3D animated cartoon called “ReBoot.” which was one of the first computer-animated tv series in the World. One day I noticed that it was made in Vancouver, and I realized that I could work on animation without moving all the way to California. Later, I was fortunate enough to learn television production in high school and worked on some nationally broadcast television shows. A few years later, I enrolled in a 3D animation and VFX education where I met Andrei Stirbu. After we graduated and throughout our careers in the industry, we remained friends. By the time we started talking about starting a school, he was a lighting supervisor, and I was working as a VFX generalist and on-set VFX supervisor. !Andrei StirbuAndrei Stirbu Co-founder/ Managing Director, PIXL VISN At the end of 2010, we quit our jobs and moved to Cologne, Germany, with a couple of suitcases and the dream of opening an animation school. A little more than one year later, in January 2012, the first class started their education. Fox Renderfarm: Could you give us a brief introduction to PIXL VISN media arts academy? Robb: PIXL VISN specializes in training artists in Film, Television, Games, and Advertising, launching hundreds of careers in the industry. Since 2012 we have developed into the largest academy for the visual effects industry in Germany and can count ourselves among the World’s best schools in the field. Pixl Visn Showreel 2019 Fox Renderfarm: PIXL VISN media arts academy ranked 3rd in the Best 3D Animation Schools in the World and 10th in the Best Visual Effects Schools in the World by The Rookies in 2019. Could you give us more details about this honor? How do you feel about that? Robb: It is a great honor to be ranked so highly by the Rookies, mainly because of how schools are rated. Aspiring artists enter their work into an annual contest, and schools are ranked based on how their students did. So, the contest is based entirely on our graduates’ actual outcomes and not some checklist or the judge’s opinion of what might make a good school. I am very proud of the alumni for all the effort put into the work they submitted to the contest, of the instructors who guide and mentor them along the way; and of the staff who work to facilitate it all. !PIXL VISN media arts academy Fox Renderfarm: Students at PIXL VISN made really fine artworks with beautiful details. Could you share with us how PIXL VISN can keep bringing out excellent students? Robb: There is a lot of hands-on learning. Creating 3D artwork is a skill, and like any skill, it takes continued practice to develop. A cycle of Lecture-Project-Feedback is ongoing and repeats from the first week of class until the last. And that keeps going long into our careers. Our instructors are also experienced artists currently working in the industry, so they can, of course, explain all the theory and practical knowledge to our students. But more importantly, they can give great feedback and guidance because they are doing that already with professional artists. Teamwork is also a big part of the industry, and we work to encourage that. Throughout the education, we guide small groups of students through a variety of projects where they work together. Many of the best projects on our student’s demo reels were also from small teams. PIXL VISN student Janina Haftka Demo Reel 2019 Fox Renderfarm: Are there any particular artists you want to mention who graduated from PIXL VISN that you think are inspiring or motivating, for example, who have created amazing projects or worked in excellent studios? Robb: There are enough that I am afraid to start listing them because I will wake up tomorrow and remember a few more that I should have mentioned. Many of our students have worked on very cool projects, though, like a bunch of Marvel films, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, just among the things I watch personally. I have been a fan of Star Wars for as long as I can remember. So, watching the Mandalorian and knowing that 20 of our graduates worked on it was really awesome. If I had to pick out just one, then our very first student, Jonas Ulrich, who started at PIXL VISN in our first class back in 2012. After several years in the industry, Jonas is now working as a Senior VFX Coordinator at Industrial Light and Magic. This makes us very proud at PIXL VISN. Series that Jonas Ulrich involved in Fox Renderfarm: What is in the future for PIXL VISN? Robb: Our core purpose is really to enable aspiring artists to pursue their dream job. We will continue to strive to be the best place to learn Visual Effects and 3D while making our education available to more people in Germany and around the World. I was fortunate to grow up in a city that became an early hotspot for the industry, so there was more opportunity to enter the industry and then grow and develop. Today, artists at companies all around the World work together to create the Films and Games we all enjoy. Being a part of bringing the same opportunity to more people is great. PIXL VISN student Marius Pörsel Demo Reel 2018 Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about the CG industry in Germany? Robb: In the decade since we moved here, Germany’s CG industry has seen continued development, driven mainly through American productions. Large and renowned VFX studios like PIXOMONDO, RISE FX, Trixter, Scanline, Mackevision are working on international and award-winning projects. German film and television studios have also started making use of all the CG talents here, but there is still room for growth. State funding has spurred growth in the gaming industry as well. Ubisoft has a large studio nearby in Dusseldorf, and their artists make regular guests at PIXL VISN. High-quality VFX and CG were once rarely seen outside of film, whereas today, it is common to see tv-series and advertising with outstanding FX. Computer graphics is finding a home in more and more industries, such as real estate, fashion, and retail. Small studios and agencies are developing and specializing in Germany since the demands for these services are growing. Since Corona, cinemas are locked, and cinema productions are on hold, and much business has shifted to gaming and streaming, so studios had to re-orientate. But once cinemas open again, there will be even more assignments for the industry. Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks that inspired you the most? Robb: A single CG feature film can take thousands of talented artists working together to create imagery you see on the screen, so it is hard to single anyone out. But the original VFX artists like Dennis Muren and John Knoll at ILM deserve acknowledgment for having paved the way for the generations of us that followed. Dennis Muren VFX artist/ supervisor, ILMVFX supervisor/ CCO, ILMOn the more technical side, I admire the work of Paul Debevec. His research in computer graphics has had a huge impact on the way we light and render for VFX. !Senior Staff Scientist, Google Research at GoogleSenior Staff Scientist, Google Research at GoogleIt is also rad to see computer graphics being accepted as an artistic medium. An early pioneer being Meats Meier. Anyone that has been working in the industry for a while will have seen his surrealist creations displayed on the loading screens of the software we use. !Optic © Meats MeierOptic © Meats Meier Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any advice for people who are interested in this field but have rarely learned any CG software, how can they learn and improve more effectively? Robb: There are many great resources to learn more about the industry online, including our own YouTube channel. FlippedNormals and Corridor Crew are also great channels that talk about the industry. Top Tips for Improving your ZBrush Sculpts © FlippedNormalsWe Compete to Make the Most SATISFYING Simulations © Corridor CrewGoing back to the Rookies, they have built an excellent platform for aspiring artists to learn more about the industry. It’s not just the contest for new job-ready artists like our graduates. They have regular challenges for all levels and articles about getting started in the industry. !THE ROOKIEShttps://www.therookies.co/ There is a never-ending supply of tutorials out there on every subject imaginable, and 3D is no different. Some of them are great resources, but so much of it may be obsolete or was not great to begin with. I have watched paid tutorials where the instructor was flat out wrong on the subject. But even with the best tutorials, feedback and support are far more essential to learn and develop. And it’s an integral part of our education. For more personal advice, we have regular open days where there is an opportunity to meet our students and ask us questions directly. Then, if anyone wants to see hands-on if 3D is right for them, we have a One-Day Workshop for beginners. You can learn about both on our newly updated website. !pixl visn's official websitehttps://www.pixlvisn.com/openhouse Fox Renderfarm: Any advice for students who are ready to step into their CG career? Are there any tips you think that can make students get a job more easily or get a better position? Robb: To get a job as a CG artist, you have to get good at it. It is as simple as that. But getting good enough to launch a career in the industry takes time, it takes hard work, and it takes guidance and support. For anyone who has decided that the CG career is right for them, studying at PIXL VISN will help get you there. Built right into our education is the best tip of all, that is to practice every day. It is easy to get distracted by shiny new tools and wanting to learn what every single button in Maya does. Our students are no different. We are constantly reigning them back in and keeping them on track to developing their skills and improving their craft. A demo reel is how an artist proves they are good enough for the job at any skill level. It is important to not just copy tutorials one-to-one, but actually create your own artwork that demonstrates you can be a productive artist. Because it's so important, we dedicate considerable time in our education to planning and preparing the reel, as well as regular feedback and guidance. For aspiring artists, it is also important to pay attention to render quality. If you are not careful, Renders can also take a lot longer than they need to. Optimizing them is crucial, even if using an affordable service like Fox Renderfarm. Our students repeatedly hand in rendered projects within deadlines, so it reinforces the importance of optimizing renders and getting the most out of the computer. Fox Renderfarm: What do you think are the most important qualities that a 3D artist should have in his/her career? Could you give some tips to CG artists about how to constantly improve techniques and artistic sense? Robb: I find the most important traits of 3D artists are passion, curiosity, and humility. The first two help make developing and growing as an artist a lot easier. It is tough to get good at something you are not passionate about or have no interest in learning. Humility because computer graphics is a team effort. Arrogance and ego get in the way of that and just make the work suffer. A general tip is to always use references. Don’t assume you know how something should look. This applies to every stage of the production, from modeling all the way to lighting and comp. To keep getting better as an artist, start projects, finish them, and then move onto the next one. The more times you finish a project, the faster you will grow. Finally, show people what you have learned. Whether it is teaching a school or just showing your peers a new technique that you learned, explaining anything to others strengthens your understanding of the topic. PIXL VISN student Lucas Sinewe Demo Reel 2019 Fox Renderfarm: How do you like Fox Renderfarm’s rendering services? Robb: I am only familiar with the services from helping students, but what I see looks great. The process is straightforward, with a lot of available renderers. The technical support I have seen Fox Renderfarm give in troubleshooting their renders is great. I can say that one of our teachers has been using Fox Renderfarm for over 4 years and is very happy with the service. No matter what time of day it is, there was always someone to help him with any problems. The process of uploading and downloading works smoothly, and loading the credit works without problems. In case of problems with renders or the file you uploaded, their TD tries to give possible solutions. Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with CG enthusiasts? Robb: The films you see and the games you play are not made by a handful of wizards in Los Angles. There are tens of thousands of people around the World working in computer graphics and the future will continue to see more demand for the skill. There are many different jobs under the umbrella of “CG Artist,” and it is actually more common to specialize. So, you also do not have to be incredibly artistic in the sense of being good at drawing or sculpting. If you are, that is great; those skills translate well into a number of the roles you could pursue. But there are also positions that are suited to more technical people that are good at building things and solving problems. It is not a crazy dream to work on the next Star Wars; our alumni do, and so can anyone who works for it.
FGT3D Snowman Challenge Is Open for Submissions Now!
FGT3D Snowman Challenge, organized by the best cloud rendering services Fox Renderfarm, is now open for submissions! Olaf in Frozen is loved by audiences all over the world for his cuteness and wacky personality. So why not build your own SNOWMAN! What kind of look will he/she have, what adventures will he go through. Please use your 3D artworks to tell your snowman story! PRIZES:3 Professional artworks and 3 Student artworks will be selected and awarded!Besides, the winning artworks will gain a great amount of exposure and publicity.· Interview with Fox Renderfarm· Advertisement and promotion on our official website, social media accounts, and newsletters. RENDER SERVICE SPECIAL OFFEREach participant can get a free $50 render coupon!You will receive a confirmation email with the coupon code, after submitting the work that meets the demands (read more about the rules). HOW TO SUBMIT:- Use this submission form to submit your entry before the deadline is over.- Also, you can join the community and enter the FGT3D Challenge!- The challenge ends on December 12th, 2021 (UTC+8) and the winners will be announced on December 21st, 2021 (UTC+8). RULES:- Your entry must relate to the challenge’s theme (we strongly encourage you to set your imagination free)- Your entry must be a 3D rendered image, video or 2D or concept art is not allowed- Your entry can be created by one artist or a group- There’s no limitation on styles and the choices of software and plugins- Your entry must be original art created specifically for the challenge- Minimal use of third party assets is allowed, as long as they are not the main focus of your scene (third party textures and materials are not included in this rule and can be used freely)- Feel free to enhance your rendering- Images that depict hate, racism, sexism or other discriminatory factors are not allowed- Works must be submitted before the deadline- If you have any problems please contact firstname.lastname@example.org JudgesBen CheungKariem SalehMiho AokiFrank WANG Yefeng2020 VES Awards Nomination JudgeFilmmaker and Character AnimatorAssociate ProfessorComputer Art University of Alaska FairbanksMedia Artist, Assistant Professor, Digital Media Curriculum, Art Department, Rhode Island College SPONSORS:- Fox Renderfarm - Fast & secure render farm services.- Chaos V-Ray - Visualize anything imaginable with V-Ray.- Corona Renderer - Known for its ease of use, power, and affordability, Corona Renderer 6 is available for 3ds Max and Cinema 4D.- Raysync - Fast file transfer solutions with reliability and security.- Poliigon - Make better 3D renders.- LIGHTMAP - HDR Light Studio makes lighting fun.- iCube R&D Group - iCube R&D Group develops and provides cutting edge and affordable tools for 3D visualisation industry.- Textures.com - A website that offers digital pictures of all sorts of materials.- Graswald - The best way to create nature in Blender.- TopoGun - A stand-alone resurfacing and maps baking application.- Texturebox - Making great textures for free and premium at a low cost.- Pilgway - Make it easy with 3DCoat: Sculpting, Voxels, Modeling, Retopo, Texturing, and UV. Judges- Ben Cheung - 2020 VES Awards Nomination Judge- Kariem Saleh - Filmmaker and Character Animator- Miho Aoki - Associate Professor Computer Art University of Alaska Fairbanks- Frank WANG Yefeng - Media Artist, Assistant Professor, Digital Media Curriculum, Art Department, Rhode Island CollegeLearn More: https://www.foxrenderfarm.com/fgt3d-snowman-challenge.html
How to Make a Stylish Spacecraft in Blender
Imagine if we humans, in the distant future, exploring the borders of our dimension, rediscovered ourselves in the past, thinking that it is another species.The third place winner in the Student category of the FGT3D Explorer Challenge goes to Andrey Oliver with his work, Explorers from the future. “Great combination of painterly looks and 3D rendering. who didn't ever park his ship in a no-parking spot? The cartoony and still technical design of the vehicle looks absolutely stylish. The colors of the paint finish pop out greatly surrounded by this rough and hazardous landscape.” One of our judges, Kariem Saleh said, who is an award winning film director and animator based in Berlin, Germany.Let's find out how Andrey made the amazing artwork through the exclusive interview with Fox Renderfarm.!Explorers from the future © Andrey OliverExplorers from the future © Andrey Oliver Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Andrey! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself? Andrey: Hello! Thanks for the opportunity. My name is Andrey and I have always been interested in 2D and 3D art, as it was a way I found to release my creativity and thoughts, the art world. Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning 3rd place in the Student Category of the FGT3D Explorer Challenge, how do you feel about that?Andrey: I feel extremely happy to have won third place and to have competed with exceptional artists. It's great to see your art on the podium. Fox Renderfarm: How long did you finish the work, Explorers from the future?Andrey: On March 24, 2021 I found out about the contest through @tonycartoonish, a great artist, and since that day I have been thinking about what to do. It must have taken me 5 weeks to model and render all the art.!Samantha Donut @ tonycartoonishSamantha Donut @ tonycartoonish Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use?Andrey: I used Blender and Substance Painter to model the ship and scenery, and also used and modified some Quixel Bridge props to complement the naturalness of the scene with secondary elements and textures. In the end I used Photoshop for retouching. Fox Renderfarm: What’s the inspiration behind your artwork? Any references?Andrey: For the Explorers theme, I thought about making a spacecraft, after all I've always admired the Star Wars or Guardians of the Galaxy spacecraft designs, and so I made my spacecraft inspired by them but stylized.!Explorers from the future!Explorers from the future Fox Renderfarm: The believable lighting, mood setting, attention to details, even the No parking sign are rendered nicely. How did you make it?Andrey: As a 3D artist, I have always sought to add naturalness to the works, observing the real world and the behavior of nature and light. I think that the small details make the narrative of the scene more complete.!Explorers from the future-3!Explorers from the future-4 Fox Renderfarm: How did you make the great combination of painterly looks and 3D rendering?Andrey: I think a stylized modeling with a hand texture painting in Substance Painter and small touches in photoshop were essential to achieve this effect.!Explorers from the future-10!Explorers from the future-4-6!Explorers from the future-11!Explorers from the future-4-5 Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?Andrey: Yes, the biggest challenge was the complexity of the shape of the spacecraft and its numerous parts, but after a long time of testing, the best way was to divide the spacecraft into several categories of parts, so I was able to have greater control in the modeling.!Explorers from the future-9!Explorers from the future-8 Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?Andrey: @thisnorthernboy was an artist who inspired me a lot in the design of the ship.!Explorers from the future-7Deep Space Fleet II @ thisnorthernboy Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey?Andrey: I am self-taught in 3D. I started studying when I was 13 years old out of curiosity, learning everything from internet videos and manuals and today I have a great experience with these programs. To complement my learning, today I also study Animation Design at college. Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?Andrey: If you really want something, you will get it, the beginning is always the hardest. Draw what you like, model what you like, so you will have more pleasure in what you are doing and learn better. Look at the great artists and get inspired. Fox Renderfarm: What do you think of the FGT3D Challenge, any suggestions for us?Andrey: I think FGT3D is an amazing idea, which stimulates the contact and minds of countless artists to show their potential to the world. Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any advice for future participants in the competition?Andrey: Enter the contest, do what you like, gain experience, have fun!!FGT3D Explorer ChallengeFGT3D Explorer Challenge organized by the TPN-Accredited cloud rendering services provider, Fox Renderfarm, was started in March, 2021 and sponsored by our amazing sponsors, including Xencelabs, Corona Renderer, TopoGun, Friendly Shade, Graswald, Raysync, Textures.com, Texturebox and iCube R&D Group. After the selection by our jury, 3 Professional artworks and 3 Student artworks were picked and would be awarded the prizes provided by our amazing sponsors. Congratulations to all the winners again! And thanks to everyone for participating! See you at our next FGT3D Challenge!
How to Make Lighting a Booster to the Whole Picture?
Fox Renderfarm Interview
Fox Renderfarm, the best render farm, is deeply committed to supporting education and wishes to contribute to the development of the CG industry. We are so proud to form cooperation with PIXL VISN Media Arts Academy and offer students an affordable pricing scheme to support educational purposes.!PIXL VISN and Fox RenderfarmAfter we’ve discussed the factors to make a character design and rigging with excellent graduates from PIXL VISN, we continue our discovery about how to make lighting a booster to the whole picture with another brilliant graduate, David Pferrer, from PIXL VISN Media Arts Academy. After graduation, he had the chance to work in Moving Picture Company, and he continues his career exploration in ArchViz now.!David Pferrer- David Pferrer- General Lookdev / Lighting Artist- Artstation: https://www.artstation.com/david_pferrerIn the exclusive interview with Fox Renderfarm, David shared his encounter with CG, how he stepped into the CG industry and how he found his passion in lighting design. Moreover, he elaborated his idea about the factors that will improve the lighting design.Student Demo Reel 2019 © David Pferrer Fox Renderfarm: Hi David, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you briefly introduce yourself?David: Hi Fox Renderfarm, I am David Pferrer, a 22-year-old CG artist from Cologne Germany. Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG and get started in the CG industry? And how did you enrol in PIXL VISN media arts academy? Could you share with us your education and working experience in the CG industry?David: My first encounter with CG at all was actually long before I really started to pursue it in a serious manner. Like many others in the industry, I was amazed by the effects of movies like Star Wars, Transformers, Lord of the Rings, and so on. It’s sort of a cliché but I guess that this is really what makes most of us want to work in this industry – the incredible art and creativity in movies. When I finished school a few years later the CG industry was still somewhat of a mysterious and impossible-to-get-in place for me. At an orientational fair for graduates, I encountered Pixl Visn for the first time. It looked and sounded like my opportunity to learn all the things any CG artist needs to know. Pixl Visn was a great experience overall. It was not all fun and games. You have to put in the hours. You have to be willing to learn and work hard. That’s what the CG industry is all about anyways so Pixl Visn prepares you for it in that way. It is very rewarding though to learn so much and become a better artist in such a short time. One month you might have no idea about what a node even is and a few weeks later you are cruising through Nuke. Fox Renderfarm: What are the most important things you’ve learned at PIXL VISN, technically and career-vice? And what’s your most unforgettable experience in PIXL VISN?David: The most important things I learned at Pixl Visn. I feel like that would have to be the basics. The learning really starts from zero knowledge, and that’s how it should be really. So the foundation is being built strong. And a lasting foundation is the most important part of any skill I feel like. As for my most memorable experience – clearly, the time that our animation teacher came to visit. He was accompanied by two former Pixl Visn students that worked with him at Pixomondo. Afterwards, we went out for drinks and to show them the city. Fox Renderfarm: Congrats on getting the A-level certificate and getting selected in the Draft Selection on The Rookies Awards 2019, could you share more details about how you got these honors? David: Thanks. It’s really an honor to be one of the selected few. Especially if you look at all the stunning works that are put up at The Rookies. Getting selected is really about two things: Firstly, you have got to create a quality piece of art. The judges are no dummies, they recognize good works and know how much work went into it. Secondly, I would say, it can really help to have an artwork that stands out in some way. Meaning it should have something that will make it recognizable. It could be a unique color palette, a really interesting or unusual subject or topic, or even just a really good-looking cover frame to make it recognizable. Making a technically great render is one thing, elevate it with something special and it will stand out amongst the other contestant´s works. Go that extra step.!The Rookies Awards 2019!Draft Selection - The Rookies Awards 2019 Fox Renderfarm: Could you share with us your usual creative process, from forming the concept to the final rendering (it would be perfect if you can raise an example)?David: The creative process behind every project can be very different. In the artistic and the technical sense. So there is not really a standard here. Also, I don’t think you can make formulas for a creative process. For the technical aspects that are a little different. Technical aspects of any CG-related field are well documented by many others that are more knowledgeable than me though. So I am not gonna go into that. Generally speaking, I would say: Write down every idea that comes into your mind. Always have something to write with you. Ideas will come at random times. Next prepare your project. Go online and just throw your subject into Google and see what comes up, you might get even more ideas. Don’t be put off if someone else has done a similar project already, it’s a big community and everybody is creating stuff all the time. You can not reinvent the wheel. Just make art that speaks to you and that you want to create. Make something you like.!David Pferrer Fox Renderfarm: According to your online portfolio and info, we know that you are interested in and good at lighting. Do you have any unforgettable creations? And did you meet any difficulties in your creative process?David: Yes, I find myself most at home in the lighting area of the 3D spectrum. My most unforgettable creation is the lady from my demo reel. Every time I think about that project I am a little disappointed in myself. The project stretched over months and It went through tons of changes. I could have spent a quarter of the time on it, with all the things that I did and then discarded later. Also, I am really unhappy about the presentation in my reel. The lighting is just not very good. I somehow ignored the fact that she is completely symmetrical, I showed her closeup from the very front, And I covered most of my texturing work in glitter. There are so many things I would change about that project, but you are always smarter afterwards I guess. !David Pferrer© David Pferrer Fox Renderfarm: What are the key factors in lighting that will make 3D artworks natural and vivid?David: Ironically the thing that makes a render perfect is the very thing that makes it look like CG. You don’t want something perfect if you are striving for realism. In reality, everything is imperfect, from the surfaces to the camera lenses and even the movement of the camera. Achieving realism takes every aspect in the pipeline of a project. For lighting I would advise: Always use real lighting. Meaning essentially, avoid having a light in your scene without a texture in it. Try not to place your lights where they could not be in real life. It can help to look at photography sets and movie sets and analyze the lighting setups and techniques that they use. There is a lot to learn from that.!Train Station © David PferrerTrain Station © David Pferrer Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about working at Moving Picture Company? Have you been involved in any projects that you would like to share with us?David: Working at MPC was a lot of fun. I was very fortunate to get a position at their Montreal Studio as my first job in the industry. The only project that I worked on there was Cats. There is not a lot to say about Cats. Unfortunately, 2020 was not really the best year for the 3D industry. Due to the pandemic, many studios had to lay off employees and I was one of those.!CATS Fox Renderfarm: What’s your next step? And what’s your vision for your career path?David: Currently, I am working at an ArchViz oriented company where we scan people and create 3D models of them. It’s a lot of fun and I don’t intend to quit anytime soon. Also, I am not really one to plan my career like that. Especially in the current situation, I think that’s even more difficult. There are so many factors that can determine where your path leads you. But I am definitely gonna go back to Montreal at some point, it was a really great time, even though I was only there during the winter. !Froggy © David Pferrer-1!Froggy © David Pferrer-2Froggy © David Pferrer Fox Renderfarm: How do you constantly improve yourself on 3D techniques and artistic sense?David: Improving is all about practice. I like to create some nice 3D stuff from time to time. Working in 3D all day though, I don’t spend that much of my free time on 3D anymore. Instead, I try to find other creative outlets. Recently, I have been doing photography and cooking for myself. Staying creatively active is very important to improve on artistic skills I think. Don’t limit yourself to just 3D. A lot can be learned from other art forms and it will improve your 3D game a lot.!Woman Portrait Experiment © David PferrerWoman Portrait Experiment © David Pferrer Fox Renderfarm: What do you think are the most important qualities that a 3D artist should have in his/her career? David: The best thing any 3D artist should have – and especially a lighting artist – is probably a really good understanding of photography and also an artistic eye. There will always be new programs to learn and new pipelines to understand. Learning about composition, color, mood, all that knowledge will never really change. Photography can really help with that because it uses all the same rules as any other visual art form. Apart from that, being a good team player is very, very important. In production, you never work alone on anything. It's always a team effort. !© David Pferrer © David Pferrer Fox Renderfarm: Any artworks and artists that inspire you the most?David: I find it hard to pin down an artist that inspires me. I would say that inspiration can come from anywhere. You can’t really force it. What I would advise though, is to get out of the comfort zone. Try to watch a movie that you might not usually consider, listen to music that you don’t know yet, maybe go on a walk somewhere you would not usually go. If you never experience new things it will be hard to have new ideas, at least that’s how it is for me. Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you wanna share with CG enthusiasts?David: Please keep creating. Other than that – it has been a pleasure and I hope I had some stuff to say that you found interesting or even helpful.
How to Portray a Photo-realistic Render With Powerful Storytelling in 3ds Max
Fox Renderfarm Interview
FGT3D Explorer Challenge organized by the TPN-Accredited cloud rendering services provider, Fox Renderfarm, was started in March 2021 and sponsored by our amazing sponsors, including Xencelabs, Corona Renderer, TopoGun, Friendly Shade, Graswald, Raysync, Textures.com, Texturebox and iCube R&D Group. After the selection by our jury, 3 Professional artworks and 3 Student artworks were picked and would be awarded the prizes provided by our amazing sponsors. Congratulations to all the winners! And thanks to everyone for participating!!FGT3D Explorer ChallengeIn this hard time where people are finding it hard to breathe and oxygen is costlier than life, this was the only positive we never wanted. In a country of colors and love, we are seeing helplessness and deaths but we have been a fighter and this too shall pass. This picture has portrayed the helplessness people are facing, sorrow and a little hope that we can fight this too.The first-place winner of the Profession category is Deepak Jain! Congratulations! His artwork, Hard Time, stands out for its highly detailed scene, goosebumpy mood-setting, great lighting and color temperature.“This indeed is looking like a hard time for the girl in the centre of the frame. Lighting and color contrasts play nicely in this very atmospherically dense frame. The setting is visually rich, though very effective in using and reusing a limited amount of assets and geometry. You feel like you want to step into the screen and get her out of this misery.” One of our judges, Kariem Saleh said, who is an award-winning film director and animator based in Berlin, Germany.Here’s the interview between Deepak and Fox Renderfarm, in which we can find out how he created this moving render with powerful storytelling.!Hard Time © Deepak JainHard Time © Deepak Jain Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Deepak! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?Deepak: Hello Everyone, I am from New Delhi, India. I started my 3D Career 15 years back, started as a High detailed 3d automobile modeler. After spending years in that domain I moved towards the 3d architectural field meanwhile I kept working on my conceptual renderings which I love to do the most. Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning 1st place in the Professional Category of the FGT3D Explorer Challenge, how do you feel about that?Deepak: Thank you so much to the Fox Renderfarm Team! It was a surprise moment for me when I got to know that I was chosen as the 1st place winner. It was one of the happiest moments of my life that my artwork got selected amongst the other beautiful artworks. Fox Renderfarm: How long did you finish the work, Hard Time?Deepak: To be honest I spend almost 4-5 hrs daily on this artwork for their in-depth Detailing and completed the final image in 2 weeks. But the most important thing in this artwork is the storytelling concept which is the most time taking thing. Fox Renderfarm: What software and plug-in did you use?Deepak: 3ds Max, Corona Renderer, Photoshop Fox Renderfarm: What’s the inspiration behind your artwork?Deepak: The inspiration behind this artwork was - In India we faced the 2nd wave of covid-19 and that was the toughest time for my country where people were finding it hard to breathe and oxygen was costlier than life. We saw helplessness and deaths, even I got affected by the coronavirus and I was in a quarantine zone at that time. It was a tough and hard time for me as well, so I decided to portray my feelings through artwork. Fox Renderfarm: The setting is visually rich, though very effective in using and reusing a limited amount of assets and geometry. How did you make it?Deepak: Planning scene development is the most important thing in any artwork. Once I finalize the story then I download some freeware models and some are self-created. Then I enhance the assets in such a way so that I can connect with my story. Hence, detailing each and every asset is the most time taking part.!Hard Time © Deepak Jain!Hard Time © Deepak Jain!Hard Time © Deepak Jain!Hard Time © Deepak Jain Fox Renderfarm: Lighting and color contrasts play nicely in this very atmospherically dense frame. How did you make it?Deepak: Lighting and color depend on the essence of the story. For example, if the story is intense then I add rich and vibrant colors and if the story is subtle then low saturated colors are used.!Lighting!Lighting!Lighting!Lighting!Lighting Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?Deepak: Yes I faced a lot of difficulties while creating this artwork, like the modeling of small props for detailing and unwrapping those, finding the accurate human which completes my story and result that I wanted. Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?Deepak: Definitely there are lots of amazing artists with their mind-blowing artworks thathave inspired me a lot. Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey?Deepak: Started my career as a High Detailed Automobile Modeler. After gaining sufficient knowledge, I went on to work with another big name. I was hired as a Team Leader in 3D Archviz Renderings and Walkthroughs for Indian Clients. With never-ending growth I was promoted from Team Leader to Senior Team Leader and then to Creative Group Head and now working as a 3D Production Head, I have expanded myself in areas of Architectural Visualization - Renderings, Walkthroughs, VR 360 Renderings, Storyboarding of Conceptual Walkthroughs, Experience Center Designing, Sales Hall Designing, Archviz Digital Matte Paintings, Application Interface Designing, Research & Development of new 3D plug-ins and software. Whenever I get some spare time I always push myself to create conceptual artistic renderings. Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?Deepak: Observation is the most important tool in our industry. Artists should observe all the minor details and always take inspiration from real photography. The core mantra is the more you practice and work in a detailed manner the more you will enhance your artwork. Fox Renderfarm: What do you think of the FGT3D Challenge, any suggestions for us?Deepak: FGT3D is doing an amazing job, creating a platform where all the artists try to explore themselves and showing their ability of creativeness to the world. Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any advice for future participants in the competition?Deepak: The talent and creativity of the Artist are more important than software, a real artist doesn’t need any specific software to prove his ability. If he has a good visual sense and visualization power he can bring amazing artwork in any 3D software. Be passionate about your work, in the end, you will finally achieve it.
How To Show Epic Futuristic Transport By C4D Artwork
Fox Renderfarm Interview
Recently, a 3D Challenge with the theme of Futuristic Transport attracted so many CG artists to participate. With climate change becoming more and more immediate, questions for the future of transport are increasingly urgent, and how will the future transport look like? CG artists give their answers through their artworks.Philip Hofmänner, a CG Artist & Filmmaker from Switzerland, won first place for his epic artwork, which was created by C4D, Corona Renderer and Photoshop.!01 Philip-Hofmanner wipFuturistic Transport © Philip Hofmänner He has been working on this picture in his free time alongside client projects, which took him around 20 hours. The work is marvellous and full of details, as Philip described, “The world is destroyed, but mankind has found a way to transport itself into the future with a portal. The idea is that nature could have recovered after a few million years. Will mankind take this second chance and do better this time?”As the sponsor and long-term partner of the competition, Fox Renderfarm is pleased to have an interview with Philip Hofmänner, who talked about how to create the work and shared his CG work experience.!Philip Hofmaenner - Philip Hofmänner- CG Artist & Filmmaker- From: Switzerland- Artsation: https://www.artstation.com/trixerWith the ambition of becoming an artist, Philip gave up his job as a carpenter in his mid-twenties and opted to attend the University of Art in Lucerne and completed his design bachelor in animation. His graduation short film Evermore had some success and was shown at countless festivals around the world and won the NIFFF award for best Swiss short film. Now he is a successful CG all-rounder, and he has founded a CGI company Trixer (trixer.ch) and worked for over 10 years mainly in advertising and architectural visualizations.Evermore - Winner Score © Philip Hofmänner Here’s the interview between Fox Renderfarm and Philip Hofmänner. Fox Renderfarm: Hi Philip! Congratulations on winning first place in the Futuristic Transport Challenge, how do you feel about it?Philip: Thanks! This is the first CG Challenge I've participated in and I'm happy and flattered that I won. Fox Renderfarm: Could you share with us your inspiration/references/mood board for the Futuristic Transport Challenge?Philip: I love dark science fiction movies such as Blade Runner and I think those influences are obvious. I also searched the internet for ideas and inspirations, but unfortunately, I can't present a mood board because I hadn't created one. !Blade Runner (1982 poster) Fox Renderfarm: The award-winning work is marvellous, could you introduce your CG pipeline?Philip: Thanks! I used Cinema 4D and Corona Render Engine for this picture. To be honest, I tend to be a lazy learner when it comes to complex CG software. That's why I've stuck with Cinema 4D and Corona Renderer for years despite the fact that there is arguably more powerful and complex software out there that go way deeper such as 3D Max, Blender or Maya. However, the simplicity of Cinema 4D and Corona Render has always appealed to me and are exactly the strengths of these programs in my opinion. Lately, I've also been using Octane sometimes when I want to render animations. Apart from a well-organized material and object library, I really don't use any third-party tools. My setup is pretty basic. I tried to approach the topic of the Futuristic Transport Challenge in a somewhat unconventional way. While thinking about it, I came up with the idea of this portal. I'll let you be the judge of how unconventional it has become. !First deisgn of the portalWhen I had the idea with the portal, it was triangular in my imagination. I started directly with the portal in 3D as the portal was the central element in the scene, without much sketching. After I had a rough model of the portal I first defined composition and then started to build everything else around it. !Philip-HofmannerLater I changed the shape of the portal to a ring and changed the camera to a central perspective because I wasn't really happy with the appearance of the image.Originally, I wanted to create a rather yellowish desert-like atmosphere. But since I wasn't really happy with the result, I changed the mood to an evening scene almost at the end of the process.I also added a lot of the atmosphere afterwards in Photoshop using the Z depth layer. Over the years I've learned that my renders don't have to look perfect and I can still get a good 30% out of them in the post, using render passes and light mixing. Fox Renderfarm: The future city is so dystopian, did you model from the scratch, could you share with us the process?Philip: Yes I modelled a lot of it from Scratch and I used some models I did in the past for a project that I never finished.Because the dystopian city in the background is not well visible, I have built the objects pretty rough and I didn't care much about topology or imperfections as you can see in this picture.!future city Fox Renderfarm: We were all impressed by the humongous details in the scene. How did you set the lighting and texture to make sure the harmonious colours and the right balance?Philip: Yes, that was probably one of the hardest parts to get the light and colors right. As I mentioned, I planned to make a yellowish desert atmosphere. But because it didn’t look that impressive, I changed the mood pretty much on the last day. The advantage of this decision is that now there is a stronger contrast between the world behind the portal and the rest of the environment. The base of the lighting was an HDRI image. But because it looked a bit boring with only the HDRI, I started to set accents with area lights around the scene. I think at the end there were about 20 additional invisible lights that I had placed. Also, I had to shield the light from the world inside the portal with a tube that only let light through the front of the portal. This created this interesting backlight and long shadows on the field with the crowd. Fox Renderfarm: In the compositing and rendering process, how did you set up to make sure the whole picture wouldn’t overwhelm the viewers? Philip: As I already mentioned I rendered a lot of light mix layers and balanced them in Photoshop. I also obscured the background a lot with dust, which greatly reduced the contrast. This, of course, helped a lot not to overwhelm the viewer's eyes. Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?Philip: The most difficult task with this image was to create enough detail without running out of memory. That's why I tried to work with as many render instances as possible. Many of the objects are copied countless times in the scene. And as mentioned in the previous answer, I struggled a bit to get an interesting light and atmosphere. Fox Renderfarm: You’ve got a contentful portfolio, what is your favorite commercial and personal artwork respectively?Philip: I am usually most enthusiastic about my latest work. At the moment I am working on some personal concepts inspired by the horror genre.!philip-hofmanner-masks7Subway Nightmare © Philip Hofmänner I do like my commercial work but I can't really pick a favorite.Our showreel gives a good overview of the work we did over the years (if you want to show something of Trixer)：At the end of the day, my heart is definitely with my own stuff.By the way, I always wanted to make concepts for films, which is rather difficult in Switzerland, because we don't produce many genre films, but rather classic European cinema that doesn't require that kind of concept I’m good in. That's why I ended up working for advertising industries and architectural visualizations. If by any chance, decision-makers from the film or game industry read this and like my stuff, I would be really happy about inquiries or proposals for collaborations! Fox Renderfarm: As we know, you have founded your CGI company Trixer for 10 years, could you briefly introduce Trixer? And does the pandemic have any impact on your work?Philip: We are a small CGI company from Zurich with 3 artists and we work as already mentioned mainly for the advertising industry and in the area of architectural visualizations. Yes, the pandemic has greatly reduced the volume of work.Fortunately, the Swiss government helps small companies like ours financially not to go into bankruptcy. It’s slowly getting better in the last few days but our business is still barely surviving. I hope that the economic situation will get better fast. I can only imagine what it is like for small businesses in countries where the government does not or can not provide financial relief. The only good thing about the situation is that for a long time I finally have some space to work on my own projects. It gave me some breathing space to reflect on my life and my career. As I mentioned, I'm thinking about whether I should possibly pursue a career in concept art for films after all. I’m also trying to get enough online followers to eventually find an income with my personal artwork. Unfortunately, I have neglected my social media presence completely ever since it became a thing, which is why I now also participate in such challenges.!Forest trixer!The Circle exterior Bushof rendering 1© Trixer Fox Renderfarm: As a successful CG artist and entrepreneur, what do you think are the most important factors in making a successful commercial artwork? Any unforgettable stories for you?Philip: If you want to do work for clients, the most important thing is to understand the clients and what they want. You have to learn to communicate properly.Also, as an artist, you have to learn to put your needs for artistic expression a little aside sometimes, because clients often have their own ideas. This can be a bit frustrating at times. A good way to compensate for this is to never stop working on your own projects from time to time.A pretty crazy story occurred right after I had graduated from Art school (Animation) when we accepted a job that was way too big for us back then. It was an animation with pseudo-realistic CGI animals for a commercial with a budget of $80,000 (not a lot for a commercial but way bigger than anything we had done so far). We were also supposed to finish the entire thing within 2 weeks. Looking back it was absolutely insane to take the job. We had to fly in a fur specialist from LA who had worked on several Disney movies because no one of us had the required expertise in fur back then and we couldn’t find anyone in Switzerland who could do it. I remember when he came into our tiny studio for the first time, where we had like 4 workstations with crappy monitors. He looked so confused and asked where our render farm and the other artists were and if he could speak to our TD. When we said we didn't have a farm and there was only us (3 freshly graduated guys from art school), he turned pale. I only vaguely remember the 2 weeks that followed. I remember that we bought a small farm of 10 gaming computers with expensive RenderMan licenses only to switch to Mental Ray at the last moment because there was an export problem of the fur from Maya. And I remember that we had to outsource the animation of the animals because there was no way we could do all the work in time. We burned through that 80’000 within days and had almost no profit in the end. No idea how, but somehow we managed to finish the damn thing. So if you are ever in this situation at the beginning of your career to get a big job offer, better to think twice if you are able to do it. Fox Renderfarm: Are there any new projects or new plans for you or your company recently? Philip: I’m shooting a sci-fi indie short film this summer called “Flechtwerk”. The film will be a gritty relationship drama and a metaphor for how advancing digital communication is changing humanity.Anyone who is interested in the project can follow me on Instagram where I will soon share more details about the project. We will also start a crowdfunding campaign in the next few weeks on Indiegogo. Fox Renderfarm: How do you improve your CG professional skills in your spare time? Could you give some learning advice to CG learners?Philip: I see many aspiring CG artists doing tests and small exercises all the time and never starting a real project that they are planning to share. Personally, I've found that I learned the most when I was working on bigger projects right away. The more I’ve been struggling, the more I have usually learned. I've also noticed that I try harder when I’m planning to publish the work too. Such CG challenges for example are therefore a good opportunity to push yourself!And finish what you start. I'm guilty of that sin as well of not finishing projects. But no matter how great or bad your artwork gets, try to finish most of it as good as possible (in a reasonable time frame). And set yourself Deadlines and goals. I personally realized that I learn the most when I have to struggle through the last 10% of a project (which is usually the most difficult part) and that I often find creative solutions when I'm facing deadline pressure. What I've also noticed is that many CG artists tend to be over-perfectionist. Try to invest a lot of effort where it really matters. One last important tip is, you shouldn't just do CGI in my opinion. In photography and cinematography or also in drawing and painting, you can learn a lot about composition and lighting. Or if you want to become a great animator also do body-oriented hobbies like dancing or martial arts or take an acting class. Also, look at the real world from time to time and study how things actually look or how they actually move. Fox Renderfarm: Have you used or heard of Fox Renderfarm before? If yes, how do you feel about it?Philip: I heard about it but I haven't used Fox Renderfarm yet. I have been using one of your competitors for years because it was used by a film studio I once worked at and ever since I stuck with it. But I am really excited to try your services with the render credits I have won. I have noticed that you offer a better price than the one I usually used. I could very well see myself switching to Fox Renderfarm if it turns out to work in my pipeline. Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?Philip: Thanks again for this interview and the great prize. And to my fellow artists, keep up the inspiring work I see every day out there. Feel free to contact me if you want to connect or if you have proposals for collaborations!!philip-hofmanner-terminus5Terminus © Philip Hofmänner !philip-hofmanner-princess-of-skies-in-new-babylonPrincess of the skies in the port of New Babylon © Philip Hofmänner
How To Create Robot Pet In Blender: Introducing 2nd Place of Robot Pet Challenge
Fox Renderfarm Interview
Robots are normal in our daily lives, but how does it look like when robots become pets? In the Robot Pet 3D Challenge, artists created various robot pets through CG arts. Fox Renderfarm is honoured to have an interview with the 2nd place winner, Jazib Daud, a 3D artist and concept designer from Pakistan. THE LAST OF ITS KIND © Jazib Daud “After a catastrophic event on the planet, Martha lost the Dragon. Now finally the gloomy era came to an end and both of them reunite…hugging and watching the sunshine once again.” This is how he described his work. Created using Blender, ZBrush, 3D Coat and Photoshop, the award-winning artwork perfectly presents a sci-fi story, full of imagination and creativity.As a 2D and 3D artist, Jazib is good at modelling, sculpting, texturing and 2D concept design for characters, environments, games and cinematics. Here's the interview between Fox Renderfarm and Jazib Daud, in which you will know how he created the amazing artwork. Fox Renderfarm: Hi Jazib! Thank you for accepting our interview. Could you have a brief introduction about yourself?Jazib: I am Jazib and I am 19 years old, I am a CG Enthusiast and Concept Designer. I am studying Interior design. And a Sci-Fi fan.!jazib-dawood-jazib-daud-finalThe Futuristic Vehicle © Jazib Daud Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning second place in the Robot Pet Challenge, how do you feel about it?Jazib: I feel really great about it because it was my favourite challenge and It was also a win.Robot pet instantly caught my attention because it was sci-fi themed. Second, it's about animals. As I am also an animal lover so creating something sci-fi and the cute animal was giving me a feeling that it will be so much fun. I am also super interested in robotics. So there was nothing holding me back. Fox Renderfarm: Did you make the model of the girl and the pet from scratch? Could you share with us the modelling process?Jazib: Girl model was made some time ago...I adjusted it to nicely fit the scenario. The robot pet model was made from scratch.!RefSceneReferences!1Progress 720!2Progress 720 SecondView!Down2!3Progress 720 Robo Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take to finish the work? Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?Jazib: It took about 7 days because I was having exams and had to manage my time.The biggest difficulty was Time.I solved it by being consistent and keeping things simple. Fox Renderfarm: What’s the main gain from this challenge?Jazib: Main gain was that I learned scene optimization, making everything good for camera. Advancing my skills in scene optimization was the main gain. Fox Renderfarm: How do you improve your CG professional skills? Could you give some learning advice to CG learners?Jazib: I actually learned by roaming the internet for new stuff, watching tutorials. Gaining experience by actually implementing and experimenting with things I learned. Just being consistent is the key....Keep learning because there is a lot to learn.I think your internet is a really helpful tool for learning. So use it. Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?Jazib: Yes 2 artworks inspired me for this challenge.Andrew Domachowski - A girl and her pet!Curiosita-sul-dipinto-Dama-con-l-ermellino-big-37-971Leonardo da Vinci - Lady with an Ermin Fox Renderfarm: Have you used or heard of Fox Renderfarm before? If yes, how do you feel about it?Jazib: I have heard a lot about Fox Renderfarm and I heard a lot of good stuff. I have seen so many amazing renders that artists and designers have accomplished with Fox. It makes me wanna try it and I definitely know that Fox is going to be one of the main tools in my CG arsenal. Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?Jazib: Few productivity tools, like PureRef, are amazing for managing reference images on your screen.And Lightshot for fast Screen Capture.Bandicam for Screen record.Competitions are super important!**Participating in competitions like CGboost really helps to improve skills, CGboost has amazing beginner-friendly challenges. I would highly recommend any aspiring CG artists to participate there.!jazib-dawood-award-winning-cgtrader-tyriskraft-portfolio-img-01The Mask © Jazib Daud
The Journey of Creativity Exploration with Houdini: Introducing Houdini FX TD, Ben Watts
Fox Renderfarm Interview
At the end of June 2021, the world-famous game League of Legends: Wild Rift posted its flagship campaign Ruination: The End Begins on multiple social media platforms. The foggy dark night scenes with flashing thunder have drawn tons of views and discussions online.Ruination: The End Begins | VR 180 Video - League of Legends: Wild Rift Client: Riot Games- Design, Production & Post : New Holland Creative- Director: Brendan Savage- Executive Producer: Mark Millar- Producer: Martina Joison- Concept Design: Simon Cowell- Animation Lead: Chris Breeze- FX Leads : Ben Watts & Bronic Bednarek**Additional 3D: Raymond Leung- Colourist: Clement Bouchet- Sound Design: Massive MusicFox Renderfarm, as the best cloud rendering service provider in the world, is so honored to have provided cloud rendering services to Ruination: The End Begins. We really appreciate the team’s trust and support.Some of you may have already guessed that the fog and the well-made lighting design help establish the atmosphere for the whole short video. They were made by the excellent Houdini FX TD - Ben Watts. He accepted our interview and shared with us his creative process and his Houdini creation journey.Ben Watts- Freelance Houdini FX TD- From: AustraliaBen now works as a freelance Houdini FX Technical Director who specializes in creating all kinds of simulation and procedural FX - including fire, smoke, destruction, fluids, particles, etc. He also has experience in lighting, rendering, and compositing.Projects Ben involved in Mercedes Benz - Stronger Than Time Nike Presto Mid Utility Paramount Animation Logo AHS Apocalypse Teaser When talking about Houdini, most people comment that it’s very hard to learn and progress. Actually, Ben encountered Houdini for the first time in 2015. With years of trials and explorations, he became an excellent Houdini FX TD that he was invited by Hounidi to do presentations in SIGGRAPH 2018. More than that, he has been interviewed by several organizations.!Ben in SIGGRAPH 2018Ben in SIGGRAPH 2018 !Ben interviewe(Up: Ben interviewed by Murray Mallee LLEN, 2020; down: Ben interviewed by The Node, 2019) Let’s explore Ben’s Houdini journey together while appreciating his artworks.Fox Renderfarm: Hi Ben, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you briefly introduce yourself?Ben: I’ve been a freelance FX Artist and Technical Director for around 6 years working exclusively in Houdini.Fox Renderfarm: The video Ruination: The End Begins is so stunning, especially the amazing atmosphere with the smoke and lighting. Which part are you responsible for in this project?Ben: The project was a collaboration between the team at New Holland Creative and myself as FX lead / TD. Bronic Bednarek worked with me as the Senior Houdini FX artist. Together we handled all the FX, lighting and rendering. New Holland completed the compositing.!Ruination The End Begins!Ruination The End BeginsFox Renderfarm: Could you elaborate on your creative process in Houdini, from the concept in mind to the final rendering?Ben: Many times I’m only provided with rough boards but in this case we were supplied beautiful concept art from New Holland Creative. This made the process much more enjoyable and set the bar very high early on. From there we went straight into Houdini and began the FX build with motion in mind from day one.!Ruination The End Begins!Ruination The End BeginsFox Renderfarm: In the creative process of this project, how did you communicate and cooperate with other artists to realize your ideas and deliver on time?Ben: I did regular check-ins with the studio and Bronic to make sure things were on track. Other than the producer, the only other person I’d liaise with was New Holland’s lead animator Chris.!Ruination The End Begins!Ruination The End BeginsFox Renderfarm: How long did it take to finish the project? In this process, did you meet any difficulties? And how did you solve them?Ben: We spent 9 weeks from beginning FX RnD through to final renders. The most difficult thing is solving how to render that much volumetric data. The caches were massive, so we had to be smart about asset usage and resolution. I leveraged Redshift’s instancing to manage volume propagation throughout the scenes.!Ruination The End Begins!Ruination The End Begins!Ruination The End BeginsFox Renderfarm: You are very experienced in making FX in Houdini such as fire, smoke, destruction, fluids, particles, etc. What are your secrets of making the FX powerful and appealing while believable?Ben: For me, it’s always been about spending time studying reference material and trying to finesse things as much as time permits. Adding detail is such an important step in FX work, not only in regard to the look of something but also the motion/animation.!Paramount Animation LOGO © Ben WattsParamount Animation LOGO © Ben Watts Fox Renderfarm: Could you share with us how you encountered CG. Why did you choose to specialize in Houdini and made all your creative journey in Houdini till now?Ben: I started to move into 3D after finding myself bored just doing regular 2D motion design work, from there it was a small journey through a couple of other 3D packages before I found Houdini around early 2015. Houdini is very open and allows you to fully explore your creativity, I never felt free like that using other 3D apps.Fox Renderfarm: As a brilliant Houdini artist who has participated in multiple successful cases, which one of them is your favorite? And why?Ben: That’s easy... My short film ‘Obsidian’ mainly because there was no pressure, and no brief. Just a fun time exploring ideas and bringing them to life in 3D. Other than that, I’ve been very fortunate to work on many other cool jobsObsidian © Ben Watts Obsidian - Process © Ben Watts !Obsidian - Process © Ben Watts!Obsidian - Process © Ben WattsFox Renderfarm: In your opinion, what are the keys to be an outstanding Houdini artist? And how do you enhance your techniques and sense of art constantly?Ben: I feel like you have to be very passionate about art in order to be at your best. That’s not always easy when you’re being asked to create horrible work, or you’ve been told to implement things you know will look bad. Taking time out for personal exploration, such as a short or even just some RnD is very important and can help inspire you to push your skills to the next level.!RnD Examples © Ben Watts!RnD Examples © Ben Watts!RnD Examples © Ben Watts!RnD Examples © Ben Watts!RnD Examples © Ben Watts!RnD Examples © Ben WattsRnD Examples © Ben Watts Fox Renderfarm: Many people would say Houdini is kind of hard for beginners, so do you have any advice on learning Houdini efficiently and effectively?Ben: Houdini can feel difficult to grasp but the key is to take things slow. If you try to rush, you’ll end up very frustrated. If Houdini is what really intrigues you, keep at it and things will come together over time.Fox Renderfarm: The video RUINATION is also shown in the form of 180 VR. What possibility do you think the advanced technology such as AR, VR will bring to motion design? And do you have any plans to try some new things in the near future?Ben: AR/VR is not really something I’m interested in, maybe things will change in the future.Fox Renderfarm: What’s your next step?Ben: I’ll continue to refine my skills as a digital artist, maybe even get into directing a bit more. I’d love to do another short film soon.!Human Aid © Ben WattsHuman Aid © Ben Watts Fox Renderfarm: Any artwork or artist that inspires you the most?Ben: I love detailed abstract art, whenever I get the chance, I parooz social media in the search for something different. I’m usually drawn to artwork with dramatic lighting and a dark atmosphere. Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services?Ben: Fox Renderfarm has been great. I’ve used them for a couple of heavy jobs and the service has always been excellent.
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