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    Pack Your Virtual Bags & Get Ready for SIGGRAPH Asia 2020

    2020-11-25

    Fox Renderfarm News

    SIGGRAPH Asia

    The 13th ACM SIGGRAPH Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques in Asia will take place in a fully virtual format from 4 – 13 December. The annual event, which rotates around the Asian region in normal circumstances, attracts the most respected technical and creative people from all over the world who are excited by research, science, art, animation, gaming, interactivity, education and emerging technologies.

    As the long-term partner of SIGGRAPH Asia, Fox Renderfarm hopes you enjoy Asia’s largest Computer Graphics & Interactive Techniques virtual event!

    The theme for this year’s SIGGRAPH Asia ‘Driving Diversity’ will take on a new meaning as SIGGRAPH gives our diverse group of worldwide technical and artistic contributors the opportunity to connect with and inspire new communities.

    “My team and I are committed to delivering a strong SIGGRAPH Asia 2020 that celebrates this year’s innovation, advances and achievements in computer graphics, interactive techniques and beyond,” said Jinny HyeJin Choo, the SIGGRAPH Asia 2020 Conference Chair.

    With the event going virtual this year, more from our global community will be able to come together and participate in new and innovative ways and drive forward the forefront of our field.

    So don’t miss out on the very first virtual @SIGGRAPHAsia conference on CG, VFX, VR, AR & InteractiveTechniques. Experience 200+ On-demand sessions & 80+ live and premier sessions from 4 – 13 Dec.

    Here's The Schedule At-A-Glance:

    • From 4 December: Over 200 pre-recorded sessions will be available on-demand, allowing attendees to learn and review presentations prior to the scheduled live Q&A sessions.

    • 10 – 13 December: Over 80 live & premier sessions such as Keynote, Featured Sessions, Q&A Sessions with the respective Program Contributors, will be scheduled during these 4 days.

    There’s still time to register for SIGGRAPHAsia 2020 by click here.

    See you there!


    Creating an Amazing CGI Project Staged at Hagia Sophia in ZBrush

    2020-11-20

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

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

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

    Ritual © Kay John Yim

    Clay render © Kay John Yim

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    John Wick (2014) - Official Trailer - Keanu Reeves

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    How to Recreate the Fairytale Rakotz Bridge in Maya

    2020-11-19

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

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

    Mystical Forest © Thomas Eckstein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    References

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

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

    Layout Breakdown

    Reference

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

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

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

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

    Lighting Breakdown

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

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

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

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

    Mjolnir - Thor's Hammer © Thomas Eckstein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    2020-11-18

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    How to Create a Realistic Mushroom House in Blender

    2020-11-09

    Top News

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

    The 18th CG Boost Challenge with the topic “Mushroom House” were successfully held with 233 submissions which show us all kinds of fairy tales with innocence and romance.

    Mushroom village © Felipe Del Rio

    With the strong modelling and great composition with the strong depth of field, Mushroom Village, made by Felipe Del Rio, won the first place of the challenge. It took Felipe around 2 weeks to finish the work between work and college tasks, which was created by using Blender, Cycles and Substance Designer. “It's a fantastic, vast yet microscopic world,” the jury said about the work.

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

    Felipe Del Rio3D Freelancer ArtistFrom: BrazilArtstation: https://www.artstation.com/felipedelrio

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

    Felipe: Hi, thank you for having me! My name is Felipe Del Rio, I’m a 3D artist from Brazil, currently working as a freelancer and I’m also a design student at São Paulo State University.

    Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about winning first place in the Mushroom House Challenge?

    Felipe: I felt really happy and surprised because there was a lot of good artworks. And these kinds of recognition always make us motivated to keep learning and making 3D too. Also, I can’t wait to use the prizes on my future projects, so I think it’s double motivation!

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

    Felipe: When I heard about the challenge and the theme, I immediately thought about creating a place I would like to live in, with a very peaceful mood by the river, magical, but relatable. As the mushroom house theme already has a bit of this magical mood, I wanted to make some mundane elements too like buckets on the ground and laundry hanging on clotheslines to make it more real-life relatable, so I came with the village ideia.

    Fox Renderfarm: The mushroom village looks realistic and cute, could you tell us how you make the model and texture of the mushroom?

    Felipe: I decided to take a procedural workflow for the mushrooms because it would be easier than sculpting if I had to change how they look later in the process and also because I thought it would be a cool challenge and opportunity to explore this kind of process.

    So, I started with a simple base for the mushrooms with little polygons and I subdivided and added different displace textures for each part. Those textures were made in Substance Designer, when I had the details done with the displaces, I used these maps to generate the color maps too.

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

    Felipe: The blurred background because it costs some time to render properly. So making the adjustments, adding the plants and seeing how it looked was a bit challenging, but I decided to work on it early in the process, even before working on the mushrooms, so I wasn't running against the clock and I had more time to wait for the renders and making the adjustments until I was happy with the result.

    Fox Renderfarm: What is the biggest advantage of Blender for you in 3D creation?

    Felipe: I guess Blender being free kept my attention when I started learning 3D, because those softwares tends to be expensive. And even though I've been learning 3D for some years and I have tested a lot of different softwares, Blender keeps being my favorite. Its development keeps growing and everybody can participate because Blender is open source, you have a strong and active community with a bunch of great projects around the world and more and more studios are including Blender in its workflow, just good news!

    Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly share with us your education and work experience along your CG journey?

    Felipe: I started learning 3D after I got curious about how 3D animated movies were made and I began watching online tutorials. My dream was creating an animated short film, I got lost how many times I tried to create a short alone and I failed because I had no idea how hard it is for one single person to make a film, even if it's just 1 minute long. But I tried a lot of times and I learned a lot of things, but it was just a hobby at that time.

    In high school, I decided I wanted to work with digital art and I became a graphic design student at São Paulo State University. In the first year I created my first animated short film “CICLO” for a sociology class, I knew it had to be a really simple animation because I didn’t have so much time and I already knew from my past experience how hard is to make a whole short alone, but this time I managed to finish it and for my surprise I got it selected for some animation festival like the Anima Mundi from Brazil and Anima Latina from Argentina, also the Suzanne Festival in the Blender Conference.

    The CGMeetup YouTube Channel also posted my short after I shared it and now it has about 8 million views which is something I never expected. After that, I was really motivated to keep learning 3D and I started getting my first commissions, now I’m fully working as a 3D freelancer artist and finishing my graduation.

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

    Felipe: Learning CG doesn’t have to be frustrating and we should enjoy the process. If you think your art isn’t perfect, it only means you have a good aesthetic sense and your skills didn't reach it yet, but it's part of the process and that's what keeps us getting better, so enjoy it and have fun!

    Not the right gift © Felipe Del Rio


    FGT3D Santa’s New Ride Challenge is Online Now!

    2020-11-04

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm

    As Christmas is coming soon, FGT3D Santa’s New Ride Challenge is now open for submissions! We would like to invite CG artists around the world to submit their artworks and show their CG talents.

    Fox’s Got Talent 3D Challenge (FGT3D Challenge), organized by your TPN-Accredited CPU/GPU cloud rendering services Fox Renderfarm, is a Render Challenge for 3D Artists to shine their talents and win great prizes!

    The theme of the 3rd FGT3D Challenge is Santa’s New Ride. As usual, Santa Claus is on the way to deliver Christmas gifts again this winter. But Santa is coming a different way this year, he may ride a motorcycle, may drive a Lamborghini, or even get on a rocket! Please create your 3D render and show Santa’s new ride in your mind.

    Time

    Time for entries:November 2nd - December 30th, 2020 (UTC+8)

    Winners announcement time:January 8th, 2021 (UTC+8)

    Prizes

    6 artworks will be selected and awarded!

    1st Place Winner

    Total prize value $5655.88

    • XP-PEN Artist 13.3 pro Festival Version x1
    • Corona Renderer 1 year license x1
    • Redshift $500 coupon code
    • Fox Renderfarm $500 Render Coupon
    • Raysync Larger File Transfer pro 1-year license x1
    • TopoGun SINGLE license x1
    • Textures.com 1 year subscription with 2500 credits per month
    • Texturebox Legendary Membership x 1 month
    • Friendly Shade 32K resolution Bundle x1
    • Graswald Pro Personal license x1

    2nd Place Winner

    Total prize value $2893.88

    • XP-PEN Deco Pro M x1
    • Corona Renderer 6 months license x1
    • Redshift $300 coupon code
    • Fox Renderfarm $300 Render Coupon
    • Raysync Larger File Transfer 50TB (pay as you go edition)
    • TopoGun SINGLE license x1
    • Textures.com 2500 credit pack ×1
    • Texturebox Legendary Membership x 1 month
    • Friendly Shade 16K resolution Bundle x1
    • Graswald Pro Personal license x1

    3rd Place Winner

    Total prize value $1615.48

    • XP-PEN Deco 01 V2 x1
    • Corona Renderer 3 months license x1
    • Redshift $200 coupon code
    • Fox Renderfarm $200 Render Coupon
    • Raysync Larger File Transfer 10TB (pay as you go edition)
    • TopoGun SINGLE license x1
    • Textures.com 1000 credit pack ×1
    • Texturebox Legendary Membership x 1 month
    • Friendly Shade 8k resolution Bundle x1
    • Graswald Pro Personal license x1

    Honorable Mention x 3

    Total prize value $471.49 for each

    • Corona Renderer 1 month license x1 for each
    • Redshift $100 coupon code for each
    • Fox Renderfarm $100 Render Coupon for each
    • Raysync cloud account 200GB download traffic for each
    • TopoGun SINGLE license x1 for each
    • Textures.com 500 credit pack ×1 for each
    • Texturebox Legendary Membership x 1 month for each
    • Friendly Shade 8K Single texture for each
    • Graswald Personal license x1 for each

    Besides, the winning artworks will gain a great amount of exposure and publicity, including:

    • Interview with Fox Renderfarm
    • Advertisement and promotion on our official website, social media accounts, and newsletters.

    How to submit

    Send your artwork to fgt3d@foxrenderfarm.com with your name and the name of the work.

    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, 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 (no existing projects)
    • 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

    Sponsors

    The prizes are provided by our awesome sponsors, including:

    • XP-PEN - XP-PEN means infinite possibility, we are committed to offering superior graphics tablets, pen display monitors and related accessories to our customers.
    • Raysync Larger File Transfer - Fast file transfer solutions with reliability and security.
    • Corona Renderer - Known for its ease of use, power, and affordability, Corona Renderer 6 is available for 3ds Max and Cinema 4D.
    • Redshift - An award-winning, production ready GPU renderer for fast 3D rendering.
    • TopoGun - A stand-alone resurfacing and maps baking application.
    • Textures.com - A website that offers digital pictures of all sorts of materials.
    • Texturebox - Making great textures for free and premium at a low cost.
    • Friendly Shade - High-quality textures for 3D artists.
    • Graswald - The best way to create nature in Blender.

    Judges

    For this competition, we have invited professionals in the CG industry as our judges to ensure the fairness and professionalism of the competition.

    Here's the list of our jury:

    • Ben Cheung - Vice President of Fox Renderfarm
    • Kariem Saleh - Filmmaker and Character Animator
    • Miho Aoki - Associate Professor of Computer Art, University of Alaska Fairbanks
    • Julius Harling - Founder of Graswald
    • Tom Grimes - Marketing and Community Specialist of Corona Renderer
    • Frank WANG Yefeng - Media Artist / Assistant Professor of Digital Media Curriculum, Art Department, Rhode Island College
    • Nicolas Burtnyk - CEO of Redshift

    Inspiration

    Here are some references for you, gathered from Artstation.

    Santa´s new sleigh © Jonte Löfgren

    Santa’s Ride © Enrico Tribbia

    Santa’s Ride © Shahadat Hossain

    We are looking forward to your participation. Come to shine your talent and great prizes are waiting for you! Let's celebrate a special Christmas!


    How to Make a Cuddly Protector for Sweet Dreams in Maya

    2020-10-29

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

    Cuddly Protector © Jeffrey Frias

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

    And the second place winner is Jeffrey Frias. Congratulations! His artwork, Cuddly Protector boasts of its good idea, perfect setting, narrative lighting, stimulating the imagination of audiences.

    Here’s the interview between our friend Jeffery and Fox Renderfarm, in which we can find out how he created this wonderful 3D render.

    • Jeffrey Frias
    • From:Germany
    • Junior 3D Artist at PIXOMONDO
    • Artwork Caption: “Made for sweet dreams.”

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

    Jeffrey: My Name is Jeffrey Frias and I am a 3D Artist at Pixomondo Stuttgart, Germany.

    Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning 2nd place in the FGT3D Hero Challenge, how do you feel about that?

    Jeffrey: I'm very happy that I won 2nd Place, but also a bit disappointed that I didn't get 1st place, but given that it was a challenge with many great competitors, it was to be expected that there was no guarantee of being 1st, let alone one of the winners. so in the end i'm just glad to have won too.

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

    Jeffrey: In total, about a week but stretched out through a month because of other stuff.

    Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use to finish the artwork?

    Jeffrey: I mainly used Maya for layout and modeling and a mix of Substance Painter and Photoshop for the Textures. Then I used V-Ray for lighting and as my main renderer.

    Fox Renderfarm: In terms of storytelling, this work stimulates the audience’s imagination. What’s the inspiration behind?

    Jeffrey: I didn't want to go the obvious route of Superheroes so I took inspiration in the fact that most children, to be able to properly sleep without worries or be scared during the night, need to have their special object or environment to comfort them.

    Be it a special pillow, their dog besides them, parents telling a story first, have a glass of milk etc., it would always ease them and help them fall asleep. And with that i decided to use a teddy bear as my main protagonist to envision that.

    Fox Renderfarm: The narrative lighting creates a horrible atmosphere that children can accept. The main light outside the window guides the audience to pay attention to the little bear while the lamp leads to the monster behind the door. How did you make them? Any references?

    Jeffrey: I did create those 2 specific lights to attract attention to both the bear and the monsters, just to make them stand out more as focus points. i did spend a bit of time in deciding what the light sources for each of them should be, at first it was gonna be the lamp for the bear and the outside floor light behind the door for the monster, but it didn't quite fit right for the monster since it should come out from the darkness, so i decided to use the lamp instead for the monster and since the moon gives off a nice quite bluish light from it, I used that instead for the bear, rather than use it only to fill the scene. In the end, it was a good decision, since it also gave me the chance to use the moonlight as a volume ray to better place the bear upfront.

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

    Jeffrey: I didn't really have any problems with anything.

    Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?

    Jeffrey: I wouldn't say artist or artwork, but the movie Monster Inc. was a big inspiration for me, while also serving as Base Concept that i built my design on.

    Monsters, Inc. 3D Trailer © Pixar

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

    Jeffrey: I started my 3D Career by attending the PIXL VISN MEDIA ARTS ACADEMY in Cologne, Germany. I studied there for about 15 months. afterwards I started working at PIXOMONDO Stuttgart in January 2019 and have been there until now.

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

    Jeffrey: Everyone has their own reasons and preferences when it comes to 3D as I learned it in the industry, some only do it during work and there are also others who really enjoy doing it even after work. I'd say I’m one of the latter, since even after work, the first thing I do is sit again in front of my PC and keep working on my personal 3D Projects. I've learned a lot by just doing my own stuff in my spare time which in turn helps me with my tasks at work.

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

    Jeffrey: I love it. It's saved me a lot of render time.

    Back in my time at PIXL VISN, it also saved me multiple times from tight deadlines and late submissions.

    I've tried other render farms back then, but the overall experience with Fox Renderfarm is something that always pulled me back to it and that's why it's my preferred renderfarm. Doesn't matter what time it is, the support is always ready to help and actually does fix the problems within minutes of asking.

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

    Jeffrey: Try and join 3D Challenges/ Contests when you get the chance, it not only motivates you because of the prizes, but it also helps you better define and speed up your own workflow and skills with the deadline.


    3D Artist of Fox’s Got Talent: Jeffrey Frias

    2019-12-24

    Top News

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

    Fox’s Got Talent! is a platform for talents to show their amazing CG artworks rendered with Fox Renderfarm. US$100 render coupon will be given to each featured artwork! The chosen entry will be shown on our Fox's Got Talent! Gallery and shared on our social media platforms. The winners will also get interview opportunities with us.

    [

    This time, we are delighted to have an interview with Jeffrey Frias, one of the winners of Fox’s Got Talent! who shared his making of the awarded artwork with us.

    • Jeffrey Frias
    • Germany
    • Junior 3D Artist at PIXOMONDO

    Centaur by Jeffrey Frias

    Jeffrey Frias, graduated from PIXL VISN Media Arts Academy, is a 3D Generalist specializing in texturing, lighting, modeling and compositing. Centaur is the project he did for his student demo reel.

    Now, Jeffrey is working as a Junior 3D Generalist at PIXOMONDO Stuttgart. He has participated in producing Midway, and some famous TV series such as The Mandalorian, Carnival Row and Bauhaus.

    Here’s the interview between Jeffrey Frias and Fox Renderfarm.

    Fox Renderfarm: Why did you enter Fox’s Got Talent? And how do you feel about winning the prize?

    Jeffrey: At that time, I just got started working on my job applications and I thought, why not try and join Fox's Got Talent for free views of my stuff to the public. Of course, the prize was a fine addition nonetheless and it helps me being motivated for my personal projects, knowing I won’t have a problem with rendering later on.

    Fox Renderfarm: What inspired you to come up with the idea of making the work Centaur?

    Jeffrey: I wanted to show that I knew how to get proportions right and that I had a decent understanding of anatomical modeling/sculpting.

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

    Jeffrey: The Centaur took me about a month to finish. It might have taken me way sooner than that, but during that time I went on vacation and also kept working on my other reel projects on an on-and-off basis.

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

    Jeffrey: The Centaur took me about a month to finish. It might have taken me way sooner than that, but during that time I went on vacation and also kept working on my other reel projects on an on-and-off basis.

    Fox Renderfarm: You used backlighting, and there is floating dust in the air, why did you use this combination? And how did you achieve the final result?

    Jeffrey: I’ve always liked adding backlighting to my projects and to make the hero objects pop out more. As for the dust, I just wanted to give the Centaur scene a bit more of some surroundings in addition to the ground.

    Fox Renderfarm: The details of the work are amazing, the muscle structure and the scars on the skin deliver a savage vibe, how did you create them? Any ideas behind them?

    Jeffrey: I’ve seen a lot of modeling reels and projects of graduates that had characters/creatures in them that were just way too smooth and had no details really.

    That’s exactly why I tried adding as many details to my Centaur as I could. As for the muscle structure, I had set my mind from the very beginning of this project that I wanted a strong, dynamic and savage warrior Centaur. I created most of the skin details in ZBrush and then added a few really small details and the blood in Substance Painter.

    Fox Renderfarm: And also the armor and the leather are pretty well-made, did you refer to any materials while making them? How did you achieve these textures?

    Jeffrey: I’ve looked at a lot of images of armors and decided that I wanted to make it in a gladiator kind of style. While making this, I kept looking at other reels too, and tried finding inspirations for texture types and what else I could add.

    Here I had my Centaur already positioned and blocked-out, refined and unwrapped the armor parts in Maya. Afterward, I brought it to ZBrush and added the damages.

    Lastly I textured them in Substance Painter.

    Fox Renderfarm: Which part of the artwork do you like the most, visually and production-wise?

    Jeffrey: I don’t really have any parts of the project that I really liked the most, but if I were to choose one, it would’ve been the torso. Just because it was very fun to sculpt this with a lot of trials and errors and because I learned a lot about anatomy while I was doing it.

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

    Jeffrey: There were a few small problems here and there but nothing I couldn’t fix with a simple search or question in forums. But the thing that overall gave me a hard time, was the anatomy for the horse.

    Fox Renderfarm: How long have you been in the CG industry? And how did you make the decision to step into the CG industry? Could you briefly tell us about the story of your education and career experience along your animation journey?

    Jeffrey: At this time, it would be around 11 months since I started working at PIXOMONDO.

    I’ve always had joy in making or drawing stuff. While I was still in high school, I didn’t really know what this job was called, so I didn’t really try and search for it, but after nearing my graduation I just happened to read a blog about it and from that moment on, I tried pursuing it.

    I was quite surprised when I started my studies for VFX, because it was unlike any school experience I had. I enjoyed every lesson we had and there was never any hassle or pressure to learn for an upcoming test or quiz. No one was forcing you but you, yourself was making you want to keep learning more stuff about 3D.

    Jeffrey Frias‘s artworks

    Fox Renderfarm: After graduated, why did you choose to join in PIXOMONDO?

    Jeffrey: When I finished my VFX school, Game of Thrones was still very popular and was a daily conversation topic for me and my friends. so when I got the chance, I tried applying to them immediately and fortunately I got the job.

    Plus, a good friend of mine from the same class at the VFX school was there too.

    Fox Renderfarm: What projects have you worked on in PIXOMONDO? Is there any unforgettable experience to share?

    Jeffrey: Right now I’ve got "Star Wars-The Mandalorian", "Midway", "Carnival Row" and "Bauhaus" on my list.

    The unforgettable experience was that my very first task was to model a really something, which had a really big part in the movie Midway.

    In addition to that, who wouldn’t be happy to have had the chance of working on Star Wars right from the get go after graduation as a freshling.

    Fox Renderfarm: What do you do to keep yourself inspired and improving yourself?

    Jeffrey: Everytime I see something great on the internet, I just add it to my personal list of "projects to do", which keeps me motivated on making new projects even while working all day long in 3D too.

    Jeffrey Frias‘s artworks

    Fox Renderfarm: What do you think of Fox Renderfarm cloud rendering service? Would you share your experience with rendering with Fox Renderfarm?

    Jeffrey: It’s a really efficient render farm with one of the best support I have seen.

    During the time in which I had to render my stuff for my demo reel, I found myself not being able to use my school’s computers because other students were hogging all the other PC's.

    And since the deadline for our reels were coming close, I managed to render out all of my things in time with Fox Renderfarm, with just a simple upload and letting it render overnight and start compositing, while the others were still trying to find renderable PC's at school.

    Jeffrey Frias‘s artworks

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

    Jeffrey: During my time at my VFX school, I found it annoying that there were students who had also 0 experience as the rest of us who were just starting, but were so sure of themselves that they kept criticizing others and giving off tips that were not useful in any way.

    My advice would be, don’t constrain your thoughts on things because other students think that is the only way or the right way. Ask your teachers who know these stuff well.


    How To Create A Dreamy Piano MV In 3ds Max

    2020-10-28

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

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

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

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

    Meredi - Above (Official Music Video)

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

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

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

    Audi movie done for automotive show © Fabian Hofmann

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

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

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

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

    Fox Renderfarm:Could you introduce your Ad production pipeline?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Lighting and shading for a CGI fulldome show © Fabian Hofmann

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

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

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

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

    Tinman © Fabian Hofmann

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

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

    Fortis Official Cosmonauts Chronograph © Fabian Hofmann

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

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

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

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


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

    2020-10-12

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

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

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

    Click here and learn more about GoCreation Program

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

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

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

    Painting

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

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

    Photography

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

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

    Architecture

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

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

    Music & Dance

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

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

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

    Sculpture

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

    Literature

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

    Cinema

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Stage concept created by Shana Pagano

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Lenore © Walter Rastelli

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Cheers!

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


    2 M’sian Animated Films Won National Winners at the 2020 Asian Academy Creative Awards (AAA)

    2020-10-22

    Trending

    Malaysian Animated Films

    A big CONGRATULATIONS to all 2020 National Winners at Asian Academy Creative Awards(AAA) which is Asia-Pac’s most prestigious awards for creative excellence. We are proud that 2 Malaysian animated films rendered with Fox Renderfarm, Ejen Ali The Movie and Boboiboy Movie 2, were named Malaysia’s winners at AAA. Congratulations!

    Ejen Ali The Movie, made by WAU Animation, won the Best Direction (Fiction) Award - National Winner from Malaysia at AAA. Meanwhile, Boboiboy Movie 2, made by Animonsta Studios, won the Best Animated Programme or Series (2D or 3D) - National Winner from Malaysia at AAA. The 2 animated films will represent Malaysia to compete for Grand Winners at AAA at the end of this year.

    This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as an enduring legacy awards program that truly represents and actively promotes Asian content and creativity, Asian Academy Creative Awards announced the 2020 National Winners during a livecast in Singapore. The Grand Awards and Gala Final will be live streamed on December 3rd and 4th, with the best of the best from 16 nations representing the region’s content industry.

    Congratulations again to Wau Animation and Animonsta Studios on their achievements. As the cloud rendering partner, Fox Renderfarm wishes them the best for their next adventure!


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

    2020-10-15

    Trending

    Art Competitions

    Heroes are Everywhere © Akhil Alukkaran

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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