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  • NEWS CENTER

    Interview with BoBoiBoy Movie 2, the Highest-grossing Animated Film in Malaysia

    2019-09-12

    Fox News

    Kre8tif!

    3-6 September 2019, Fox Renderfarm participated in Kre8tif! 2019, an annual digital creative content industry event in Malaysia aimed to spark innovation and exploration of major trends across the creative sector. We received a large number of CG enthusiasts and had good communications with them regarding our powerful cloud rendering service.

    In Kre8tif! 2019, we were honored to have an interview with Mr. Kee Yong Pin, COO of Animonsta Studios in Malaysia.

    Kee Yong Pin

    COO of Animonsta Studios

    Works:

    Animated series BoBoiBoy (2011-2016)

    BoBoiBoy Galaxy (2016-present)

    BoBoiBoy: The Movie (2016)

    BoBoiBoy Movie 2 (2019)

    Animonsta Studios, a Malaysian animation company that produces creative content for the Malaysian and international market. Its second computer-animated film BoBoiBoy Movie 2, which is the new No.1 animated feature in Malaysia.

    Below is Fox Renderfarm’s exclusive interview with Mr. Kee Yong Pin. Let’s check it out!

    Fox Renderfarm: Can you introduce yourself?

    Kee Yong Pin: My name is Kee Yong Pin, from Animonsta Studios, an animation studio from Malaysia.

    Fox Renderfarm: Can you introduce BoBoiBoy?

    Kee Yong Pin: BoBoiBoy is an animation created by Animonsta Studios since back in 2011. And our latest movie for BoBoiBoy, it’s just completed and released in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Vietnam at the same time. So, we are happy to tell that our BoBoiBoy Movie 2 is currently the highest-grossing box office animation ever shown in Malaysia of all time.

    Fox Renderfarm: What’s the interesting part when producing BoBoiBoy Movie 2?

    Kee Yong Pin: One of the biggest, interesting things about this movie is actually the production, the whole production only takes 12 months. Most of the animated movies need to take 3 to 4 years. And then our team is actually not very big. We have only around 100 people with around 60-70 people from production.

    Fox Renderfarm: Any challenges of making the movie?

    Kee Yong Pin: The challenge is the time itself, so, as much as we worked very hard, there is still a lot of obstacles, for example, all the technical stuff, the rendering processes or the animation processes. So, the biggest challenge for us is actually the race against time for the rendering. For rendering it needs to be done by the computer. We need to do a very proper calculation, so that we can speed up the process without sacrificing the quality.

    Fox Renderfarm: What do you think of Fox Renderfarm cloud rendering service?

    Kee Yong Pin: In order to meet our timeline, one biggest thing that we changed is actually going into half GPU, which is using Redshift. And then we find out that even that is not enough. Throughout the movie, we can deliver according to timeline. But towards the end of the movie, that's when things become difficult, because the deadline is getting closer and then the scenes are getting very heavy towards the final part of the movie. So that's when we start to engage with Fox Renderfarm. And then we are really impressed actually, especially on the support portion of Fox Renderfarm. Because it's so easy for us to get in touch with, you know, just using WhatsApp. So everything just is direct communication, whenever we need anything and then everything is actually quite fast and, more importantly, when it comes to the last minute, it is hard for us to get the finance portion, budgeting portion to meet according to our criteria, and timeline also needs to be meeting. So, Fox Renderfarm, luckily for us, managed to meet our criteria in terms of pricing, in terms of delivery.

    Fox Renderfarm: Will you distribute the movie in China?

    Kee Yong Pin: We are actually trying, because China has a very small quota for foreign movies, but we are actually trying our best to get into China’s market. Good thing for us is that our animation series is already broadcasted on China's platform, which is Tencent. And it gets quite a good amount of views, which is more than 40 million views already up to date. We want to continue our footsteps into China's market if possible.

    Fox Renderfarm: Any plans for next step?

    Kee Yong Pin: We are doing our next animation, moving forward. And unfortunately, we cannot share anything in detail yet, but definitely I would safely, at least say that project has more challenges than BoBoiBoy Movie 2. So we want to get more market after this release in more countries and all those things, and so definitely, we need more support in terms of technology and also various partnership in the near future.

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

    Kee Yong Pin: We just want to share that animation industry in Malaysia has been more than fifteen, twenty years. We might not be the most famous animation content hub in the world yet. But definitely Malaysia is going to be one of the best, not in terms of quantity, but in terms of quality, one of the best animation providers in the world. So, we really hope that the world will be able to really pick up our animation, have a look on what we can achieve in a more practical way, high quality, efficient, because we have a lot of good talents in Malaysia.

    Let's look forward to the new development of Malaysian animated films.


    Green Book VFX Veteran Raymond McIntyre Jr. Shares Production and Careers Insights

    2019-08-30

    Fox Talk

    Green Book

    Nowadays, with the development of computer graphics technology, VFX plays an incomparable important role in sci-fi blockbusters, live-action movies or animation films. Behind these stunning VFX, there is a group of professionals & specialists. Raymond McIntyre Jr., one of the legendary VFX Supervisors, who has been working in the film industry for more than 30 years, has been involved in the production of films including Green Book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Spider-Man, X2, Blood Diamond, Men in Black 3, The Conjuring and so on. Let's take a look at the scenes behind these Hollywood blockbusters through Ray’s story.

    Raymond McIntyre Jr.

    VFX Supervisor and President of Pixel Magic

    VFX Supervisor and Producer for ABC, Netflix

    Works Rim of the World (2019) , Green Book (2018), 22 Jump Street (2014), The Conjuring (2013), Men in Black 3 (2012), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1&2 (2010/2011) and more

    Awards

    2004, Visual Effects Society Award, for his work in THE LAST SAMURAI 1998, International Monitor Award, for his work in CASPER MEETS WENDY

    Raymond McIntyre Jr. is a Visual Effects Society (VES) Award winning Supervisor that brings 30+ years of experience in the film industry and oversees all creative operations at Pixel Magic, an award-winning VFX & 3D animation studio with credits including: Blood Diamond, The Guardian and the films mentioned above.

    An impressive production pipeline, combined with deep expertise in both visual effects and 3D stereo conversion has allowed Pixel Magic to tackle some highly visible projects. And their capabilities in 3D stereo conversion has landed them work on the Chronicles of Narnia, as well as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

    As the President and VFX Supervisor of Pixel Magic, Ray brings extensive knowledge and expertise to the company. Also, he has frequently served as the primary Visual Effects Supervisor for feature film productions. In that capacity, he provides on-set supervision, plate/element photography as well as 2nd / VFX unit direction. Ray has been recognized for his achievements as Visual Effects Supervisor.

    Ray and his team offers a wide array of visual effects such as compositing services, including CGI creation of objects, animals, smoke, fire, and matte paintings to many Hollywood blockbusters.

    (Pixel Magic VFX breakdown reel)

    In the film 22 Jump Street, Ray was called on for 2nd unit VFX supervision supporting Edwin Rivera, the film’s overall VFX supervisor. The Pixel Magic team was tapped to create all of the visual effects for the establishing action scene of the Metro City Port and other 100 VFX shots in various scenes throughout the movie, such as the CG gantry crane and CG netting that tangles up the heroes, CG windshield cracks on the 18 wheeler truck and CG octopus tentacles.

    What’s more, they completed over 400 visual effects shots for the film My All American. "Production wanted the ability to move the camera all the time. This eliminated the traditional approach of locked off cameras and tiling practical people in different spots in the stadium, hence the need for CGI crowds. A full digital crowd was mixed with extras shot on green screen and composited with the few extras available on set. Shooting HDRI's on set allowed for realistic and accurate lighting for all the digital crowd and stadium shots. This is the real advantage of CG crowds, an exact match of lighting." according to Ray.

    In SIGGRAPH 2019, Fox Renderfarm was honored to have Mr. Ed Lantz, President/CTO for Vortex Immersion Media & Chair of Los Angeles ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter, to do an interview with Ray.

    Here’s the exclusive interview with Raymond and Ed Lantz.

    Ed Lantz:

    Hi, my name is Ed Lantz, from Vortex Immersion Media and Chair of SIGGRAPH Los Angeles. I'm here with Raymond McIntyre, and Ray why not just tell us a little about what you do.

    Raymond:

    Hi, my name is Raymond McIntyre. I'm a visual effects supervisor and visual effects producer. I usually get hired by studios and companies to do the visual effects for movies like Netflix, Warner Brothers, CBS, ABC or companies like that. I also have my own company called Pixel Magic and I am president for Pixel Magic and we are a visual effects house, a small visual effects house that's been in business for more than 30 years now. And what I do is, I create and budget and produce visual effects for features, generally, I'm known for creating photo-realistic work. Most recently, I did the movie Green Book which won Academy Award for Best Picture and Academy Award for Best Screenplay. I did the visual effects for that, and my company did as well. And visual effects we did on that movie is the actor Mahershala Ali who did not play the piano in that movie at all, so everything he did was a head replacement. So we had a piano player play the piano on set and then move the piano player out once we were happy with take, and move Mahershala Ali in, shot him in the same seat, and the computer later on composited his head onto the piano player's body. So that's the kind of work I do, we create a basically seamless visual effects that hopefully you watched, the movie like Green Book and ever saw one of the 2 or 3 hundred shots we did for that movie.

    The film Green Book

    Ed Lantz:

    That's incredible. Could you tell us a little about the process in Green Book to replace the head? Was that volumetrically scanned or you're working with 2D plates?

    Raymond:

    Sure. To replace the head or do the head replacement on Green Book, we actually get it in a more traditional approach. We did not create a 3D model of Mahershala Ali or anything like that. We actually shot him on location, either at the piano or wherever the shot or scene was and composited via rotoscope. We did not put up green screen because the green screen changes the light value on the actor pretty substantially. And so when you're looking for absolute seamless work, we decided that the green screen change the light too much to make that work. So we shot him in the scene with the exact same light that was on the piano player and then tracked and rotoscoped, and composited Mahershala's head onto the body of the piano player. So it was all done with a more traditional approach instead of either a 3D approach, or you know something like that.

    Green Book VFX breakdown

    Ed Lantz:

    I especially like the shot of the White House (in the movie LBJ). And you actually shot a caravan of cars, and you could see (White House) through the windows. How did you pull that one off?

    Raymond:

    Well, for this movie called LBJ, that was directed by Rob Reiner and it stars Woody Harrelson. Rob wanted a shot in 1960 presidential motorcade was driving out of the White House down Pennsylvania Avenue to go off and whatever their business was for that day. But you cannot get a permit to shoot in front of the White House and plus Pennsylvania Avenue is closed to all car traffic except for presidential car traffic. So it's not something you can go and do. In order to create it, the movie was being shot in New Orleans. We shot the motorcade driving on a parking lot in New Orleans, because of the camera move, the extreme scale of watching them drive out the front driveway of the White House and then panning to follow them as they drove down Pennsylvania Avenue. That was a really big camera move, so we were unable to put up a green screen for the size and scale that would have been needed for that. So the approach had to be rotoscope, and that's something we're very familiar with, fortunately. It was really the talent of the artist that put the shot together. His name is Patrick Trahan and he was responsible for all this. His ability to make us believe that as we saw through the window of the motorcade as it was driving in the Louisiana parking lot, he had to roto and create transparency and create glass basically for his own (distortion). When you go around a corner especially those curves have to be rounded pieces of glass, it would distort the image, so he actually created pieces of glass, created his own distortion. So as the car rounded the corner and you as now seen the White House background through there he distorted and created exactly. And then we generated a Matte Painting for the White House based on photography that I did at the White House today and then painted out everything that isn't period or doesn't look correct and added in movements for trees and things like.

    LBJ VFX breakdown

    Ed Lantz:

    Very impressive!Why don't you tell us a little about what software tools that you use in your work?

    Raymond:

    We used a lot of software to complete the visual effects, and a lot of different tools. First off, you usually have to match move or track your scene or your object, or whatever it is, what that means is if you have a moving camera and a person in the shot that's moving and you want to add something to the person, you need to know what that movement of that person. Let's say we want to change my badge to something else, and I'm walking and the camera is moving, so you need to know what the movement of that is in the computer. So we call it a match move, which means we're going to match the motion of what the physical object in the real world does in the computers. Then the computer can recreate its motion exactly in pixels, and in dimensions in the computer. And then we can replace the object, change the object, do whatever it is. So we use tools to do that, which is called match move. We use SynthEyes and tools like that which is our primary matchmover. And then whether you create something in 3D to change the object, you have to composite it, so we use different compositing tools. But primarily we use Adobe After Effects and Nuke for our two primary compositing tools, and they both have features and feature sets that are unique and different than the other, and both have pros and cons that the other one does or doesn't have, so we use those two. There are others that are very similar, but those are our two main tools. And then for creating 3D objects like the cars in Green Book or the creature in Rim of the world, or the snowfall in Green Book, to create those kinds of things that have to be generated in a computer, they are solely made in the computer. We use several different tools. We use LightWave 3D, we use Maya, some of our people use Houdini for certain things. Again the tool that you choose should be based on what its strength and or weakness, isn't that you don't want. So if something is really good at doing water, for example, a CG ocean or CG water, then you use that tool, not all 3 software tools sets create water equally as good as the next. So you choose a tool that's best for the project.

    Green Book VFX breakdown

    The film Rim Of The World

    Ed Lantz:

    And why don’t you tell us maybe one of your most challenging projects that you're most proud of?

    Raymond:

    Well, I think the project I'm most proud of right now is Green Book, because it's a recent project that won two Academy Awards, and the actor won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. A lot of People would probably say that they thought he was playing the piano, even though he did not. So that's something we are very proud of, and I'm proud of that the sense we made something that (hopefully) no one had any idea that we actually modified a change.

    Ed Lantz:

    Certainly I didn't, that was very impressive.

    Raymond:

    I learned something I've been doing this. I've been in this business for quite a while, and I've been doing this for a very long time, but I learned something basically on every show, I learned how to improve or what I should have done better or what I can do on the next one and so there's many shows like that. Recent ones come to mind for me, Rim of the World. We had to design and create two different creatures, three or four different alien vessels and ships and things like that. And that's always fun for a different reason because when you're designing and creating something you're trying to make something that hasn't been seen or hasn't been done before, which is difficult in today's world, especially when it comes to aliens and spaceships and things like that. And then implement them in a way that they look like the real in the shot, that are realistic and photo-realistic in the shot. And so that's always fun, you need challenges, but always fun.

    Fox Renderfarm:

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

    Ed Lantz:

    My work involves projecting on large domes and we're creating shows with a-list talents. We did a show with Childish Gambino, otherwise known as the Donald Glover, and a 160 foot dome out in the Joshua Tree Desert, and we had 12 video projectors covering the dome blended together and produce the whole concert. 5 shows over 3 days, 2500 people per show inside the dome. And we also did an event at the Coliseum, here for the founder of Minecraft. He invited 3000 of his closest friends to come to party and with Skrillex and Diplo and some big DJs. And that was 24 video projectors blended together to create one big image. So now there's project in Vegas, Madison Square Gardens Entertainment makes LED dome that will hold twenty thousand people. So now we will have an arena that artists can graduate to. My company is building five-hundred to twenty-five-hundred-seat venues, so we hope CG artists get into the format creates spherical not just for VR but also for dome.

    MSG Sphere

    Raymond:

    As a visual effects supervisor and producer, and as a company owner, I've been doing this for a long time. It's not a good way to say is going to be, most of my exposures is US-based, but I travel all over the world for shooting and for production and things like that. The post production end of things is in the last ten or fifteen years really started to become worldwide. But I would say now that's really expanding, even more so with China and India and Australia. I'm all for the worldwide visual effects input because there's lots of reasons for that. The more brains you have figuring something out, the better it's likely to get and the result will be. So it's always nice to involve people who either look at something a little bit differently with a fresh perspective. As opposed to a perspective that I may have or colleagues may have looked at for a long period of time. When we go down one path when there is really another path that might get something done. So I actually enjoy traveling for production and I enjoy being on shows now where you know you have five, six, seven hundred, even more of those movies that have two and three thousand shots. You have to involve companies all over the world in order to get them done, and that's a challenge, but it's a good one.

    As Ray said, challenge helps us to step forward. Looking forward to more possibilities of CG creations.


    Interview with Jakob Scheidt, 6-year Exploration in Blender of a 16-year-old 3D Artist

    2020-01-14

    Trending

    CG Challenges

    Who wouldn’t dream about life on a boat, far from boredom and pressure, with tranquillity and maybe some adventure? Fox Renderfarm is amazed by the excellent artworks from ‘Life on a Boat’ 3D render challenge held by CGBoost, both for their diverse creativity and high-quality images. Congratulations to all the winners of the challenge, and never stop letting your ideas make the community shine bright!

    Jakob Scheidt, the 3rd place winner in the challenge, is also an old friend of Fox Renderfarm - Winner of Fox’s Got Talent! Here is one thing about him you won’t believe - Jakob, with 6 years’ practice of Blender and having won prizes and praise in various platforms, is only 16 years old.

    In the interview with Fox Renderfarm, he told us his unique thoughts behind the awarded artwork, and how he got started and motivated in 3D art creation.

    • Jakob Scheidt
    • 3D Artist
    • From: Germany

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

    Jakob: Hello! My name is Jakob Scheidt, I’m a 16-year-old 3D artist from Germany. I started drawing when I was a kid and continued creating visual artwork. I discovered Blender six years ago and I’m still using it today, combined with Substance Painter and Photoshop. I think about working as an Illustrator or 3D Artist in the future.

    Artworks by Jakob Scheidt

    Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about winning the 3rd place in CGBoost ‘Life on a Boat Challenge’ this time?

    Jakob: It’s always a good feeling to be awarded, but the prizes are not the most important thing you get from participating in a competition. Every time I have a deadline and a topic to create an artwork I get very motivated and spend as much time as possible working on the artwork. At the end you get improved in so many areas, like concepting, telling a story, modelling, sculpting, texturing and lighting. Knowing and practicing the complete process is crucial, even if you want to specialize in a particular skill. In the past, 3D art challenges always boosted my motivation and skills as a 3D artist.

    Fox Renderfarm: Your artwork delivers a pretty tranquil and exotic feeling, could you tell us your inspiration for it?

    Jakob: The topic ‘Life on a Boat’ can be interpreted in many different ways. In the beginning I had no idea what to create and started researching to get inspired. I came across many different cultures, the instruments they play, the food they eat and the boats they have. I combined everything I liked into a scene that captures the relaxed, calm mood. It was great to see that the other participants had totally different ideas and created images with action and humor for example.

    Fox Renderfarm: The lake takes the biggest proportion of the image, the lighting and ripples of the water matters a lot to the picture, could you introduce the production process and any consideration behind?

    Jakob: I added the water at the end of the process and thought it would just be a simple plane with a simple material. It took several hours to finish in the end, it was a challenge to make it look good with the lighting of the scene. I experimented with volumetric effects, particles, color variations and several combined bump textures for the small waves. In the end I had a giant node tree that included all the elements mentioned. The interaction between the water and the paddle was particularly challenging. It’s basically a bump texture painted by hand, even though I used a water simulation as a basis. And as always, using many reference images was important to make it look realistic and appealing.

    Fox Renderfarm: About the senior man on the boat, his clothes, hat and shoes have really appealing colors and prints, how did you make them? And did you refer to any materials?

    Jakob: I was fascinated by the clothing patterns of different cultures; many parts of the image include them. Although I tried using a simple texture to wrap around the whole model, I ended up painting or adjusting most of the textures by hand in Substance Painter. Adding the golden parts and the small graphical patterns was time consuming, but it makes you want to look at the image for a longer time, the details and bright colors catch your attention.

    Fox Renderfarm: About the objects on the boat, like the case, food, hookah and so forth, could you introduce them a bit, and any ideas behind that?

    Jakob: All the assets are created based on reference pictures I collected earlier. They had to look good individually as well as combined with the boat and the character. Modeling and texturing them was time consuming, but these details make the scene look believable and appealing.

    Fox Renderfarm: The steam from the spout of the pot gives the whole image a dynamic and vivid touch. How did you make it? And any ideas behind that?

    Jakob: Adding the steam makes the scene look more realistic. It was very easy to create though, I just added an alpha texture to a plane, the scene is not meant to work as an animation.

    Fox Renderfarm: What’s the most interesting and unforgettable memory during the production?

    Jakob: At the beginning of the modelling process I was very keen on getting every detail on the boat right, even though I wasn’t sure about the final camera angle and composition. So, I spent 6 hours creating two special chests with sophisticated details and complex textures. At the end you can’t even see the first one, the other one is mostly in shadow and a simple cube would have done the job. The lesson I learned from this is to think about the specific camera angle and how much details you need to include in the assets early on, so you don’t waste your time like I did!

    Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulty, and how did you solve it?

    Jakob: The water and the character have been challenging, and the lighting for sure. I spent a lot of time trying different HDRs and added many spot lamps in addition to that. This was important for establishing the mood of the piece and emphasizing particular parts.

    Fox Renderfarm: What are the software and plugins did you use for this artwork?

    Jakob: I used Blender 2.8 for modeling, sculpting, retopology, UVs, Materials and Rendering. Most of the textures are created in Substance Painter, but I used resources like Poliigon, Textures.com and Pixabay. The final image was composited in Adobe Photoshop and rendered in Blender cycles.

    Fox Renderfarm: You are also the winner for Fox’s Got Talent, how do you feel about winning our challenge?

    Jakob: It was a great promotion for my ArtStation profile and some free render credits are always great for future projects. Looking at the other artworks created for Fox’s Got Talent is a pleasure too, very inspiring!

    Fox Renderfarm: Can you recall your first encounter with CG? And could you briefly tell us about the education and career experience along your 3D journey?

    Jakob: I started using 3D software six years ago. The beginning was tough, but I had a lot of time to learn and was fascinated by 3D, even though 100% of my renders in the first two years sucked. I was learning Blender with video tutorials on YouTube, but I wasn’t following a particular curriculum. Slowly my technical skills improved and I could use the software. At that time, I was messing around with animation, VFX and simulations almost every day. Today I focus mostly on modeling, sculpting and texturing realistic creatures and props.

    Fox Renderfarm: Who or what project inspires you the most in this career?

    Jakob: I look at a lot of 2D artwork and I like to draw as well. That’s why I enjoy many concept artists, but I’m very inspired by artists mixing 3D and 2D, one example is Jama Jurabaev. Some other 3D artists I admire are Julien Kaspar, Gregory Smith, Henning Sanden and Gleb Alexandrov.

    Concept Art by Jama Jurabaev

    Rain-Turntables by Julien Kaspar

    Artwork by Gregory Smith

    Artwork by Henning Sanden

    Artwork by Gleb Alexandrov

    Fox Renderfarm: What do you do to get inspired and motivated? And how do you improve your professional skills?

    Jakob: Participating in art competitions is very motivating and drawing every day is very important for me to practice observation. Other than that, there are many excellent courses on the internet on 3D tools, asset creation, lighting and anatomy.

    Fox Renderfarm: As an old friend of Fox Renderfarm, how do you feel about Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering service?

    Jakob: Having access to an easy to use render farm has become very important to me. I am working on a music video right now and I need a lot of rendering power for that. Rendering externally allows me to get higher quality renders in a short time. Another advantage is that I can still use my computer when the render farm is rendering my animations.

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

    Jakob: Never stop creating!

    For more Jakob’s artworks:

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

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jakob.scheidt/

    Youtuebe: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk4--F0P5NGHjy_1JGwWDCA


    Interview with SIGGRAPH 2021 Conference Chair, Pol Jeremias-Vila, A Man of Many Responsibilities

    2020-01-03

    Trending

    SIGGRAPH Asia

    Pol Jeremias-Vila is the Co-Chair of SIGGRAPH Asia 2019 Computer Animation Festival (CAF). He has been a consistent force in helping to elevate the conference in many years.

    SIGGRAPH 2019

    Originally from Spain, Pol is the Lead Graphics Engineer at Pixar Animation Studios where he develops algorithms to help artists make movies. He is credited in multiple movies including Toy Story 4, Incredibles 2, Coco and Finding Dory. In addition to his credits on films, he is also the co-founder of Shadertoy.com, a website that enables graphics enthusiasts to create and share rendering knowledge.

    Since 2012, Pol has been actively involved with SIGGRAPH, holding multiple roles on past conference committees, including as Computer Animation Festival Director, Real-Time Live! Chair, and Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality Chair, as well as serving as a content contributor and juror.

    SIGGRAPH 2017

    SIGGRAPH 2016

    Also, he will chair the SIGGRAPH 2021 conference in Los Angeles. Let’s look forward to a new CG memorable ride.

    Here’s the interview between Pol Jeremias-Vila and Fox Renderfarm, in which Pol shared his SIGGRAPH experience and the unforgettable memory in SIGGRAPH Asia 2019.

    Fox Renderfarm: Why are you so passionate about Computer Animation Festival (CAF)?

    Pol Jeremias-Vila: One of the things I like about the Computer Animation Festival is something as technical, as how we render a polygon can be used to tell meaningful stories that can either inform people how the lights went off in Puerto Rico, and how that affected the rest of the country, or it can tell a story about Mascot. It can help with the development of feature films through visual effects, like this simple piece of technology can help tell all these different stories, and it can help create this medium. And I think that's a very interesting field and I personally really like it of course.

    Fox Renderfarm: What’s your goal for the CAF in SIGGRAPH Asia 2019?

    Pol Jeremias-Vila: We wanted to create a show this year that had a lot of varieties that you could see the different ways in which computer graphics are used. And for us, it was important to showcase scientific visualization. We believe this is a field that uses computer graphics in a very important way, and we wanted to support that. So we actively supported that, you can see it in the film, similarly, visual effects. I think for us that was one of the goals, say, we're gonna make a show that really tells the story that you can use this technology in different ways. And it doesn't need to be just short films. It could be advertising as well.

    CAF in SIGGRAPH Asia 2019

    Fox Renderfarm: Any unforgettable memory about this CAF?

    Pol Jeremias-Vila: This year I’m co-chairing along with Jinny Choo, the SIGGRAPH Asia Computer Animation Festival. So great memories, I think seeing the numbers of submissions coming in was really satisfying. We did a lot of work to outreach to areas in which we hadn't done it as intensively. And seeing all those numbers and seeing all the submissions from schools all over the world, it was really rewarding.

    Fox Renderfarm: There is an ‘inter-see show’ in this CAF, any efforts behind that?

    Pol Jeremias-Vila: For us, it was a way to break the rhythm of the show and make sure that there was a little bit of surprise as well, like something that wasn't really expected. We have inter-see shows after each piece, so you can expect the inter-see show, and then we put something that may be surprising for some people, hopefully, funny, and trying to make it all be a more coherent experience. Even though they're disconnected stories, we try to create a flow that lasts an hour and 40 minutes. It doesn't feel like too disconnected. It needs to flow.

    Fox Renderfarm: Could you share some rendering technology development trends with us?

    Pol Jeremias-Vila: One of the things that we are seeing in the Computer Animation Festival (is) that there are more submissions that are using real-time engines to produce short films. And this is always interesting and we try to support every technology that is used for filmmaking. So this year we showcased some works that were using real-time engines as well as other techniques that are already using, offline renderers, path tracing or ray tracing. Again, we don't necessarily look at the technology per se more, so like the artistic composition and a story. We do try to showcase the different ways in which you can use computer graphics to tell stories. For example, this year we have scientific visualization, we have advertising; we have visual effects breakdowns, short films. All of them use computer graphics regardless of being a real-time render or being an offline render. They all use this medium to tell stories and that's what really matters, and it's at the core of the festival.

    Some works of CAF Electronic Theater

    Kids

    The Gift

    Kinky Kitchen

    Pumpers Paradise

    Fox Renderfarm: Any difficulties that you’ve met when you were working on CAF? And how did you solve it?

    Pol Jeremias-Vila: So there is an obvious physical difficulty when you are on site. You have to deal with screens, projectors, light that might be coming in from other rooms. We try to create this perfect environment and to enjoy films. And we try to be as respectful as we can with the works that are submitted to our conference. We care a lot about how that video is playback. (I’m) not sure (if) that is difficult but it's definitely one of the parts that we try to really take good care (of). Another part that's interesting always is how to deal with these big numbers of submissions, and how to make sure that they are all properly reviewed that we have enough opinions on each of the pieces. So we can have our jurors provide good decisions, so they have enough information to do a good decision. What we see though is that we do have a lot of content that gets through our hands and we would love to have more spaces, in which we can show it. So this year we have also an Animation Theater that goes and runs all day long.

    CAF in SIGGRAPH Asia 2019

    Fox Renderfarm: SIGGRAPH is closely associated with the emerging technologies, how do you integrate them better?

    Pol Jeremias-Vila: Personally, one of the things we did in North America in 2017, was to invest in a new way of seeing 360 and VR films. And for us, it was to create a new physical space that people could go in the same way that you go into the Electronic Theater to see the best of the 2D films. Can we create a physical space that people can go and enjoy VR? I think it was a great success. It's happening as well here in SIGGRAPH Asia. And I'm sure that sometime, we will see some forms of stories that are grounded in the real world through AR or something like that. I don’t know exactly what that will be, and I think that's why SIGGRAPH always needs to be aware of what's happening in those spaces, what are those stories going to look like, and how we are going to support those creators. That's where I see that as SIGGRAPH members, we need to be thinking about those things, talking about it, and talking to the people that are creating those stories to make sure they have a place here, and they can show it.

    SIGGRAPH 2017

    Fox Renderfarm: SIGGRAPH 2021 will be in Los Angeles! As Conference Chair for SIGGRAPH 2021, anything you want to share with us?

    Pol Jeremias-Vila: Really excited! We will start working the way on preparing SIGGRAPH 2021. We bring the team together. It's going to be in Los Angeles. I'm not sure what technologies will be around in 2021. We might have some surprises. The team that we are working together is spectacular. I'm really confident that we're gonna have a really awesome show. We're gonna have actually our first on-site meeting in February of next year. So, this project takes time to prepare. So, really excited about it!

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

    Pol Jeremias-Vila: Yes! I have it (the brochure) right here!

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

    Pol Jeremias-Vila: If you have an opportunity to see the Computer Animation Festival 2019. We hope you really enjoy it! Please request showing in your local areas. We'll be more than happy to try to arrange that. We hope you enjoy the show!

    Special thanks to Rajeev Dwivedi from Live Pixel Technologies.


    Interview with Ernest Petti, Revealing the Production Secrets of Frozen 2

    2019-12-11

    Top News

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

    During the visual and information feast - SIGGRAPH Asia 2019, Fox Renderfarm is delighted to have the chance to talk with Mr. Ernest Petti, Studio CG Supervisor at Walt Disney Animation Studios, who has also devoted to the production in Frozen 2, the biggest-worldwide-opening animated film of all time.

    Ernest Petti has been working with Walt Disney Animation Studios for over 19 years, now is the Studio CG Supervisor. In this role he acts as a bridge between Production and Technology for long-term strategic initiatives, orchestrating the initiatives and projects of the Workflow team and uniting them to fit within the studio’s vision for workflow. Prior to this, he served as Technical Supervisor on Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) and the 2016 Oscar-winning feature Zootopia. Ernest joined Disney in 2000 as a software engineer in the Technology group and has served as a supervisor in Lighting, Look Development, and Tactics. Credits include 2014's Oscar-winning feature Big Hero 6, as well as Wreck-it Ralph (2012), Tangled (2010), and Bolt (2008).

    In the Featured Sessions of SIGGRAPH Asia 2019, Ernest delivered a presentation named - "Frozen 2" and the Past, Present, and Future of Tech at Disney Animation, and he was also being part of the discussion and communication: Proactive Large-Scale Pipeline Efficiency Management, with a panel from large-scale Animation and VFX studios to share insights to their challenges on how to balance between creating amazing visuals as well as given a tight production time frame.

    During our interview, Ernest expressed his excitement about this year’s SIGGRAPH - how interested he was to connect with other people, companies and technologies. Besides, among all the cutting-edged technologies shown, machine learning sparks his curiosity about its application during his work. Of course, the development of rendering technology arouses his wonder about how to make a more interactive and direct manipulation with rendering, especially with GPU that comes along.

    More insights into the production of Frozen 2 is definitely what Fox Renderfarm would not miss, and are also what we can’t wait to share with you. Let’s check out the interview video and article, and see how Walt Disney Animation Studios combines timeless storytelling with innovative technology.

    (F=Fox Renderfarm, EP=Ernest Petti)

    F: Could you tell us your main responsibilities in Frozen 2? How did you cooperate with the VFX departments along the production?

    EP: My role is Studio CG Supervisor, I’m in the studio level position that kind of overlooks the long-term technical development and artistic workflows over the course of shows.

    I work closely with the technology group and with the productions, and try to find the bridge between those over time. I was the Technical Supervisor on Ralph Breaks the Internet. On that show, we did stuff like the first steps into nested proceduralism for some of the buildings on the internet that paved the way then, and was built on top of further for Frozen 2. So there is that sort of continuity of shows that we passed on. And then in my current role, looking at workflow is a big thing that we are focused on and is in the concurrent collaboration and making that as smooth as possible between different departments. So talking to the groups in Frozen 2, like all the Visual Effects Supervisor like Steve Goldberg and the Technical Supervisor like Mark Hammel, and working with them and understanding what they're doing on their show, and making sure it's in line with the shows before, and moving into the future so that we can really build to what will come next.

    Basically, when the new set of leadership starts on a show, we try to connect with them, then start understanding what our show’s specific needs, and what are things that we want to advance in the studio that makes sense to, also try to dock on at that show so that we can have some continuity.

    F: How did you cooperate with the Production Director and the Production Designer to actualize the creativity through the technologies?

    EP: When that story starts forming and the show leadership really is working with the Production Designer and with the Director to understand the story and what the look of the film is, achieving that comes first. So we really want to partner closely on what technology might be needed to make that happen. It’s very important that we’re able to achieve that. Then in partnership with that, it’s can that build off things that were already in the plan; should that accelerate things that we may have been thinking about but weren't going to necessarily line up with that timing; and are there things that aren't necessarily tied to show needs, but we do want to advance and this would be the right timing to do that, for instance, the work in USD - of course, we're hearing about lots of studios, we’re trying to make significant advances in USD in our pipeline for Raya and the Last Dragon, which is our movie coming out next November - so that's not a show need, it's nothing out of the artistic vision of that movie that said we need USD, but it'll help advance a lot of future tools and workflows. And we need to find the right place to start feathering that in.

    F: Which part do you like the most in the production of Frozen 2? Why?

    EP: It’s a movie that has a lot of scope and scale to it. I like that it kind of takes you in more surprising directions. It takes you outside of what you've seen before in the first one, so it's not staying in the same zone, it's leaving Arendelle. It’s going out into the wild into a different environment and world, and it has sort of unique Spirits and settings that we haven't necessarily done before.

    F: How did you achieve the scale of autumnal trees and foliage through technical changes?

    EP: In a lot of our films, we have (been) trying to strike the balance between artistic stylization and procedural simulation to make sure we have the complexity and richness that we want, and yet still the stylization that we need. And we've worked overtime to build the tools to give that stylization for, say a single tree. And then you place them well to get a cluster of trees that looks nice. But now, when you have a whole forest that has a certain level of stylization to it, and it has a lot of depth to the ground cover, the pebbles and everything else around it as well. We needed to prove our toolset so that we would not only have that sort of balance of stylization and complexity on the single tree level, and then make a whole forest of them, we can stylize the appearance of the forest as well. So we had nested proceduralism which would allow us to build up, like here's a pebble, here's a cluster of pebbles, now here's a ground cover that includes some leaves and a cluster of pebbles; and then it includes a tree, and then there's a grove of trees, and then the grove of trees expands to the forest. And you can sort of stylize but also build up and populate at each of those levels. And then we created a tool called Droplet that was essentially a procedural painting tool that you could then paint down the trees in a more painterly fashion, so that you could have more direct control over the style and flow of the forest as a whole, and all the trees throughout it. So it did definitely lead to expanding on our Bonsai tree tools and our Aurora instancer, as well as developing the new tool like Droplet.

    Bonsai Instancing Zootopia Test

    F: What’s the challenging part of the production? How to solve it?

    EP: I think there's a couple of areas environment side we had a very lush rich forest environment that includes very colorful diverse autumn forest, but also because its fall leaves are on the ground that also had to be very rich. On top of that when you start adding in the elemental spirits and you have something like Gale, the Wind Spirit, you're tying that environment as a character and having to make sure there's a lot of coordination between how the environment is built; and how the character of the wind plays through that, and then interacts with the rest of the environment, and with any characters and the scenes with Anna or Elsa or any of the other characters. So this film presented a lot of challenges with collaboration. A lot of things that like the Water Spirit and like the Gale that didn't fit neatly into one department, one group of people or a linear pipeline. So the challenge is finding the ways to iterate smoothly when you're having to have a very tight connection between people across departments.

    I think we always start with the sort of research into trying to ground the challenge that we're looking at, and what the closest connection is to the physical world. When you have the Water Spirit taking the form of a horse, you study water, you study horses, and then you bring all the people across departments together, and everywhere from art and trying to understand the stylization, and how far you want to go in wateriness versus sort of solidity. The effects departments, the spray and the foam of the mane and the tail to the animators, so you really have everyone working together to look at the challenges together, form more of a team around the problems you're trying to solve.

    F: What did you do to make these characters realistic?

    EP: There is the realism you want, the realism of a horse movement or the realism of water movement. And where do those conflict, and how do you find the right balance between those, and the choices you may make for a beautiful horse animation may not work when the mane and tail are refractive water that you can see through. Say, the mane goes in front of the face, it's not actually completely covering the face, you're kind of seeing through that. So that's again where what decision might be made in animation may need to be iterated on when you see a render. Because of the effects of the water on the character, so it's definitely a challenge to find just the right balance for that character.

    F: In this process, what kinds of tests did you do to give the designers the idea?

    EP: I think with all of the tests and with the Nokk as well, we did start with some hand-drawn tests. Even seeing once again the example of legs, and how much the leg should sort of splash away into water, and how much they could stay fairly solidified, was something that we tested with some hand-drawn tests first. And then you take that into animation, and then you would try to run little sort of various types of character tests, like a still test of the Nokk with just some head animation. That informed that we needed to take the water distortion and reduce it on the face. Because there were subtle movements, that distortion was making the rig harder and keep that just on the body. Then you would do a test on how much spray and spindrift should be in there. And you do a running test. So it's kind of you really work closely as a group and sort of run these tests to explore different aspects and keep the Directors in the loop for that time.

    F: Could you explain more about the unified rendering?

    EP: I think when we talk about unified rendering and looking forward, at a lot of places at Disney animation, we have a glViewport that we use for when we're viewing things in our various departments and getting previews as we're working, and then you do a final frame render that on a render farm and takes a significantly longer chunk of time. Sometimes those technical requirements require different paths and different pipelines. We would love to find paths where almost what you see is what you get, and so there's more of a continuum from the preview that you see, to the final frame. It's almost more of a transition from speed to quality over time, but it's less of a dichotomy.

    F: Any suggestions for the audience when watching Frozen 2?

    EP: The movie takes place three years after the original story. The movies made six years after the original one came out, so there's been a lot of tech technology advancements. And I hope people can see it in all the beautiful images that are on the screen. At the same time, we want to bring you back to the same characters that you love from the first film. And you'll see some nice additions, like of advancement. Olaf now has a permafrost covering so that he won't melt as it's getting into autumn. He's learned to read now, and all the characters have sort of progressed. Because there has been a time period that's passed in the film as well.

    F: You have made so many great animation features, which one do you feel most proud of? Why?

    EP: I love different aspects of all of them. I have a special connection to Zootopia to a certain degree because XGen was one of the first developing (tool), when I first started at the company way back. And it was a big sort of fur-based show, and there was a lot in there that connected with me. Returning to Wreck-it Ralph with Ralph Breaks the Internet, it's always fun to revisit a place that you've been to before. And even going all the way back to Bolt that had a certain painterly style to it. That was exploring sort of a looser look that was a very different look at that time.

    Thank Mr. Ernest Petti again for accepting our interview. Keep up with Fox Renderfarm and follow us on social media platforms, more interesting and insightful content is waiting for you!

    Special thanks to Dan Sarto from Animation World Network, Ian Failes from VFXVoice and Chang Wei-Chung from InCG Media.

    Facebook: facebook.com/foxrender

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    Making a Gothic Castle With Strong Silhouettes in Cinema 4D

    2020-11-27

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

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

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

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

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

    Clay render © Kay John Yim

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Fox Renderfarm: How did you finish the texturing?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Please hit the link to know more!


    Creating an Amazing CGI Project Staged at Hagia Sophia in ZBrush

    2020-11-20

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

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

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

    Ritual © Kay John Yim

    Clay render © Kay John Yim

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    John Wick (2014) - Official Trailer - Keanu Reeves

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    How to Recreate the Fairytale Rakotz Bridge in Maya

    2020-11-19

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

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

    Mystical Forest © Thomas Eckstein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    References

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

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

    Layout Breakdown

    Reference

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

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

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

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

    Lighting Breakdown

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

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

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

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

    Mjolnir - Thor's Hammer © Thomas Eckstein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

    2020-11-18

    Trending

    Fox Renderfarm Interview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    How to Create a 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


    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.


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