Creating a Bomb in the Attic With Maya and ZBrush
Fox Renderfarm Interview
FGT Art, initiated and organized by the best cloud rendering services provider Fox Renderfarm, is a program that encourages all Fox Renderfarm users to share their talents and get awarded monthly. We are glad to announce that the FGT Art October Winner goes to Sascha Bähr.War is over © Sascha Bähr !War is over © Sascha Bähr!War is over © Sascha Bähr -1Based in Germany, Before 3D training, Sascha worked in the advertising industry. He has experience with large projects and has developed a good eye for quality and design over the years. With a great passion for 3D art in a long time, he became a student at Pixlvisn media arts academy, specializing in Lighting.Here comes the interview with Sascha, in which he tells us how he created the excellent artwork.- Sascha Bähr- Lighting, Texturing, Lookdev Student/ Mediadesigner- Neuss, Germany Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on being the October winner of FGT Art, 2021! How do you feel about it?Sascha: I am very happy and honored to have won. As a student taking my first steps into the 3D industry I'm also happy that all the effort and energy I put into a project is recognized. It shows me that I'm on the right track. Fox Renderfarm: Could you share with us your inspiration/references/moodboard of your project “War is over”?Sascha: For my first demoreel project, I decided to do an interior. Since I'm a big fan of the 50s/60s style, I wanted to steer my setting in that direction. I thought about the concept myself and started with a rough sketch at first. Over time, new, better ideas came along and the project changed. I wanted to depict a larger conflict. The whole theme can probably be understood under the term "war and hope".!War is over © Sascha Bähr -2 Fox Renderfarm: How long did you finish the work?Sascha: Since I created the scene almost entirely by myself, I had to learn a lot during the process to improve my skills. It took me about 7 weeks to achieve this final result.Software used: Maya, Arnold, Substance 3D Painter, Nuke, ZBrush, Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Davinci Resolve for video editing. Fox Renderfarm: We could see flowers and characters on the bomb, could you share with us the design and modeling process?Sascha: For this scene I thought of a little story. Someone built the bomb in the attic at the beginning of the war. The individual parts of the bomb were delivered in the various boxes. The builder gave this bomb the name "Devil's Gift" and sprayed it on the bomb. The bomb was completed but never detonated. Over time, the bomb began to rust and one of the cylinders containing the explosive liquid broke. From this broken cylinder grows the flower, as a sign of hope. The shot of the scene was taken when the war was over.I assembled the bomb from various references of atomic bombs. I created the illustrations on the bomb in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. In Substance 3D Painter I created the texture of the bomb and added the illustrations.!War is over © Sascha Bähr!War is over © Sascha Bähr!War is over © Sascha Bähr!War is over © Sascha Bähr Fox Renderfarm: The lighting and compositing of the environment is amazing, how did you set that?Sascha: First, I thought of a small story. As a thematic conflict I chose war and the resulting hope. For the design of the attic I chose the 50s, 60s.After some research, the color palette was clear to me very early. The colors from that time, or much more the colors from the 2nd World War were drab and not very saturated. The desaturated factory palette of the textures helped me to get the threatening "war character" into the scene. The only "saturated" color should be the flower growing out of the bomb.In conjunction with the environment and the camera, I built the scene in such a way that guidelines are created, which increase the focus on the hero object. This makes it easier to add a "focus" later during lightingI also made sure that the main lit area in the room is in the center of the image.!War is over © Sascha BährMy goal was to convey the feeling of hope with light. For this I chose warm colors for the light entering through the window. The environment outside the light should seem more threatening. For this I chose a cold color temperature.For the final touch I added godrays in Nuke which I rendered in Maya/Arnold. I integrated the dust particles into Nuke using the particle system and linked them to different shapes, so as not to always show a repeating dust particle or just a sphere. Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?Sascha: For me as a student, it was very difficult to reach this level of quality at first. The lighting and compositing can very quickly look fake or too cartoony. In my case, it was good to work on other tasks periodically to get a fresh look at the whole. Fox Renderfarm: We have received your excellent Entry, The cold grave, for FGT3D Explorer Challenge, could you introduce the project to us?Sascha: At the beginning, I thought about what comes to mind first when I hear the word “Explorer”. Quickly familiar scenes from Indiana Jones or Jurassic Park were in my head. I wanted to create that "adventure" feeling when you have discovered an old mystical and forgotten place and the viewer is the first to be back there in a long time. I also try to challenge myself with new things in each new project. With "The cold grave" I wanted to deal with the theme of "ice". That's how the idea with the mystical ice gate came about.!War is over © Sascha Bähr -8 Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about studying at PIXL VISN media arts academy?Sascha: It's a great feeling to learn with so many like-minded people. The thought of being able to work at a well-known film studio after my training is what really drives me. Fox Renderfarm: How do you improve your CG professional skills?Sascha: I think that studying and understanding references is one of the most important things for me. After reaching one's current limit, it is worth its weight in gold to get the opinion of experienced artists and improve through the feedback. Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about the cloud rendering service of Fox Renderfarm?Sascha: Many of my projects would not have been possible without the fast and intuitive rendering service. It is easy to use. If you have any problems or questions, the competent service helps you very quickly. Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?Sascha: It is a satisfying feeling to have completed a project in which a lot of work has gone into. I think all the work is paying off and making me a better artist. In the future I hope to work with other 3D enthusiasts to grow together.https://www.linkedin.com/in/sascha-baehr-3dhttps://www.artstation.com/artwork/xJ84z1
Meet Award-winning Art Director at AWS, Amaru Zeas
FGT3D Hunter Challenge organized by the TPN-Accredited cloud rendering services provider, Fox Renderfarm, received lots of excellent entries! We are so glad to have an interview with Amaru Zeas, one of the Professional finalists, with his amazing artwork “LIFE HUNTER”. LIFE HUNTER © Amaru ZeasAmaru: Have you ever imagined what the Amazon Rainforest will be like in the year 2172? Global warming is real. The worst impacts of climate change could be irreversible by 2030. The 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years. More than 1 million species are at risk of extinction by climate change. We use more of the earth's resources than it can renew.- Amaru Zeas- Art Director at Amazon Web Services (AWS)- Seattle, Washington- Honors & Awards1. CG Render image of the week2. Top 100 of the Best 3D Artists around the World3. Best of Substance art of 20163D World Feature!Golden Trophy © Amaru ZeasGolden Trophy © Amaru ZeasRider 49 © Amaru Zeas3D Artist Magazine Feature!Ferrari 156 © Amaru ZeasFerrari 156 © Amaru Zeas!F1 641 © Amaru ZeasF1 641 © Amaru Zeas!Luck © Amaru ZeasLuck © Amaru Zeas!3D Artist - Amaru Zeas© Amaru Zeas!Sweet Colors © Amaru ZeasSweet Colors © Amaru ZeasGreen Library © Amaru Zeas!Disintegration © Amaru ZeasDisintegration © Amaru Zeas Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Amaru! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?Amaru: My name is Amaru. I am a CG-Artist based in Seattle, Washington. I'm currently employed as an Art Director at Amazon Web Services (AWS). My hometown is Cuenca, Ecuador. My friends, family and especially my wife know my biggest passion is to craft CG art.I've always wanted to do 3D art for movies or video games since I was a little boy. I came to the United States to pursue my ambition, and it has been incredible so far. I recall going to the library while I was in 3D Art School and spending several hours reading and looking through 3D Artist Magazines. I told myself, "Someday, I’ll have my work published here." Now, after working in the industry for more than 12 years, I’m happy to say that my work has been published in 3d world magazine and many more around the world.I spend a good amount of my free time engaged in personal projects, which I approach with a lot of dedication and passion.UE_Reel © Amaru Zeas Fox Renderfarm: How long did you finish your project, LIFE HUNTER?Amaru: LIFE HUNTER was, without a doubt, my most ambitious personal project to date. In less than three months, everything was completed by a single artist. Because I work full-time as an artist, I had to come up with a plan. It was challenging at times because I worked 4-5 hours after work and at least 20 hours on weekends. I created and schedule on my whiteboard in my home office, which allowed me to be better organized and finish the project. Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use?Amaru: When I work on a personal project, I try to use as many 3D software as possible in order to stay current with the latest tools and technologies. For this project I used Unreal Engine 4.26 for rendering, set dressing, layout, particle effects. Mega scans to create quick and realistic rocks, grounds and some tree trunks. Speedtree to model the main tree of the film. Maya to model the futuristic hover and the drone. Substance Painter to create all the textures. World Creator to create height maps to build the mountains. Mixamo to download fast animations for the pilot. Finally, one of my all-time favorite software; DaVinci Resolve for final composition and color grade. Fox Renderfarm: What’s the inspiration behind your artwork?Amaru: My mother has always been a huge inspiration in my life, and she has always encouraged me to use my work to give back to the community in some way. In recent years, I've spent a lot of time researching two essential topics: education and global warming. I really wanted to create a more intricate and lengthier story this time. I wanted to produce something about global warming, more along the lines of a futuristic narrative about what will happen if we continue to abuse the Earth the way we do now. This is a call to action. Fox Renderfarm: How did you make the modelling?Amaru: For modelling I used Maya Autodesk for the hover and the drone. Speed tree for the hero tree of the film and some tree trunks as well. I utilized photogrammetry models from Megascans to build the landscape.!LIFE HUNTER © Amaru Zeas Fox Renderfarm: The environment scenes are excellent; how did you make it?Amaru: Most of the environment assets are photogrammetry assets from Mega Scans, a great library of highly detailed assets. That allowed me to be more creative and build the environment faster without spending too much time modeling every single rock and ground. !LIFE HUNTER © Amaru Zeas!LIFE HUNTER © Amaru Zeas Fox Renderfarm: The lighting and rendering catch our eyes. How did you manage to set them?Amaru: I really enjoy doing lighting and compositing, it is one of my favorite stages while producing CG art. I tend to use very contrast lighting and intentionally use stronger lights in order to draw your eyes to the correct place of the shot. Shadows are very important as well as they can help you occlude objects that might cause distraction. Lighting and compositing are two of my favorite steps of creating computer-generated art. I like to employ high contrast lighting and purposefully use brighter lights to bring your attention to the focal point of the photo. Shadows are also very significant because they can help you obliterate distracting elements.!LIFE HUNTER © Amaru Zeas!LIFE HUNTER © Amaru Zeas!LIFE HUNTER © Amaru Zeas Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulty in the process? How did you solve it?Amaru: It usually takes longer to produce anything when you're trying out new technologies for the first time. I had a lot of technical challenges with the Unreal Engine. To begin, I intended to use a gaming engine to create a cinematic film in 4K quality with the greatest possible geometry and texture fidelity. Many of the issues I was able to overcome by experimenting with different ways, searching the internet, and communicating with a few others via blogs. Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?Amaru: Usually I do tend to visit some of the greatest CG artist’s work to get inspiration like Marek Denko, however for this project I was heavily inspired by 3 of my most favorite films, Mad Max Road Fury, Blade Runner 2049 and 1917, the last one for the amazing camera work. Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey?Amaru: My background in the industry has been everywhere from working on commercials and live action to video games, as well as architectural visualization and Hololens. Now for the first time I am working on animated films. Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?Amaru: I encourage all artists to create the things they love. When you’re paid to do what you’d be willing to do for free, you find fulfillment and purpose in your career. It might take longer than you think to catch your big break, so be willing to put yourself out there and never give up.
Interview With FGT Art September Winner, Modus Vivendi Animation Team
Fox Renderfarm Interview
FGT Art, initiated and organized by Fox Renderfarm, is a program that encourages all Fox Renderfarm users to share their talents and get awarded monthly. We are very pleased to announce that the FGT Art September Winner goes to Modus Vivendi Animation, created by a small team of 5 university students - Jonathan Hans Christian, Olivia Dharmawan, Richardo Surya Christopher, Neeshma Sadanandhan and Ng Ser Ting.Here’s the interview between Modus Vivendi Animation Team and Fox Renderfarm, in which we can find out how they created this wonderful video. Modus Vivendi Animation Fox Renderfarm: Congrats on winning the FGT Art September Winner, 2021! How do you feel about it?Modus Vivendi Animation Team: We’re super happy to hear that we won the September FGT Art Competition! Working on this film was really tough, not only due to the strict university deadlines we had to meet but also because the whole project was done remotely due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. So it’s definitely a proud moment that we were able to achieve a winning prize with this film despite all the challenges we faced! Fox Renderfarm: What’s your inspiration for Modus Vivendi Animation? Jonathan: So the team was originally just Neeshma and me, and we were thinking of doing some kind of fight scene for our final film at uni. Neeshma: What Jonathan and I had in common was our interest in Sci-fi and action, so we decided on a concept set in a dystopian world with a story that involves some sort of emotional or physical conflict. Later on more talented members joined the team and the concept developed further. Fox Renderfarm: Could you introduce the pipeline and task allocations to us?Modus Vivendi Animation Team: Each of the members undertook different areas in CG that they were interested in pursuing. The task allocations were as follows:- Jonathan H. Christian: Character Animation and VFX- Olivia Dharmawan: Character Animation and Modelling- Neeshma Sadanandhan: Character Animation and Rigging- Richardo S. Christopher: Modelling and Texturing- Ng Ser Ting: Modelling and Texturing- Richardo was the Art Director of the film. Most of the visual elements in the film came from his vision of a Sci-Fi dystopian world. The concept art of both the main characters as well as several aspects of the environment creation was done by him. - Neeshma was the Project Manager who took care of keeping things organised and hosting weekly meetings to keep deadlines in check and the line of communication open. Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use for the animation?Modus Vivendi Animation Team: We used Maya for all asset creation, animation and rigging. Arnold was the render engine we used. All procedural modelling and VFX was done using Houdini. Substance Painter was used for texturing. Fox Renderfarm: How did you make the main 3D character, such as modelling and texturing?Modus Vivendi Animation Team: Here is the original concept design of the main character of the film ‘Iona’ created by Richardo: !Original concept - Modus Vivendi AnimationThe character model was created by Ng Ser Ting based on the above concept. A lot of changes were made to the model based on changes in story and also for rigging purposes. The character model was further improved and polished by Ser Ting recently and the latest model looks like this:!Modus Vivendi Animation!Modus Vivendi Animation!Modus Vivendi AnimationHere’s some VFX experiments that were done for Modus Vivendi by our VFX Artist Jonathan:Iona Arm Sparks Smoke Bomb Dust VFX Iona Cloth Sim Fox Renderfarm: The body movements and facial expressions in this animation are realistic, how did you make it?Neeshma: When I created the character rig for Iona, I tried to do my best to maximise her physical and facial flexibility. It was quite a challenging process because the rig was made completely from scratch, but this allowed me to edit it easily to fit the specific needs of her animation. Here is a screengrab showing the number of nodes it took to rig one side of her smile:!Modus Vivendi AnimationRegarding the animation process, I always start with references. For instance, Iona does a lot of parkour and action scenes - I collected a long list of video references from the internet to try to study the movements and try to mimic it in a believable way. For facial animation shots, I often filmed myself performing the scenes and try to mimic and exaggerate from there. I also usually sketched over playblasts of Iona and made notes of the thoughts or emotions she must be feeling when I wanted to create really specific facial expressions. Fox Renderfarm: The environment modelling is really excellent, any references?Modus Vivendi Animation Team: Olivia Dharmawan, Richardo Christopher and Ng Ser Ting created the environments seen in the film. The film had 3 main environments which included an Alleyway, a Highway and the interior of an abandoned Diner. The main inspirations for these environments included dystopian Sci-fi animated productions such as Love Death and Robots, Cyberpunk, Nier Automata. In terms of real world references, we were also influenced by apartment structures in Hong Kong, Japanese signage and alleyways in South Korea. Here are some renders of each of the environments shown in the film:Alleyway:!Alleyway -1!Alleyway -2!Alleyway-3!Alleyway-4Highway:!Highway-1Diner:!Diner!Diner Fox Renderfarm: The sound, music, and voice put the finishing touches to the animation, how do you make it?Modus Vivendi Animation Team: Sound for the film was done by a talented duo that we hired for the project. The soundtrack was created by Barney M-L and the SFX was done by William Biggs.The main character Iona’s voice was performed by Julie Park. Barney M-L: “On the music side it was a super organic process - even though we were on the other side of the world we made opportunities to share work and feedback and this meant we could still chisel the marble together if that metaphor tracks. Even though it was a dystopian setting and narrative, the story breathes life into the machines, I tried to reflect this through a mix of organic and electronic sounds."Here, William Biggs goes through his process of creating Sound for Modus Vivendi:Sound Design Breakdown - Modus Vivendi (Film) Fox Renderfarm: What’s the plan for the full film of Modus Vivendi?Modus Vivendi Animation Team: The film is currently in the process of being polished and rendered. The team members had certain areas that they wanted to improve in the film which included - the addition of two animated shots, the improvement of lighting and changes in the layout of some environments. We are hoping to release the full film at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year, so keep an eye out! Fox Renderfarm: Could you have a brief introduction to FROZEN Fan Animation?Neeshma: The Frozen fan animation was a collaborative project between Jonathan and myself. I created the character animation and Jonathan added the cloth simulations and particle FX to add a magical flair to the animation!I originally created the short animation because I was very inspired when I first saw Frozen 2 in the theatres. The facial animation in the movie was incredible and I wanted to push myself to achieve something similarly emotive. Here’s what the video looked like before and after VFX was added and Rendered with Fox Renderfarm:Before VFX:WIP Elsa Animation After VFX: FROZEN Fan Animation | Breaking Down - performed by Sulene Fleming Fox Renderfarm: How did your team communicate and cooperate with each other to improve efficiency?Jonathan: We have a discord server for sharing references, notes, gdrive links, etc. We also use discord for weekly meetings, which really helps us stay on track. Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG? Could you share with us your educational and career experience?Jonathan: CG is literally everywhere these days so it would be a surprise if a person has never encountered CG. I have been a fan of films and video games since I was a kid. Never thought I would be studying animation. In fact, when I came to Melbourne, I was going to study Product Design. However, I thought I already love movies and video games and I was interested in how they were actually made, so I changed my mind and applied for an animation course instead.Neeshma: I’m originally from a 2D Animation background and was very scared of CG at first! But when I started seeing how flexible and visually beautiful 3D Animation was becoming over the past few years, I thought it was worth getting into. Looking back, I think deciding to learn 3D Animation was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! Fox Renderfarm: Any artworks or artists inspire you the most?Modus Vivendi Animation Team: Animated shorts from a series on Netflix called Love Death and Robots and games such as Overwatch and Valorant were the main inspirations for our animation. We were aiming to create stylized models with semi realistic textures, and I think that the titles I mentioned incorporate such style really well. Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services?Modus Vivendi Animation Team: We’re incredibly thankful for Fox Renderfarm’s rendering services! When we were working on Modus Vivendi, we were very anxious about how we could afford such a visually complex and long film with the low budget we had as students. Of all the different render farm options we explored, Fox Renderfarm was the most affordable one we found. To add to this, Fox Renderfarm’s customer service team always got back to us fast on our queries and were incredibly helpful everytime. We hope that more students find this service! CREDITS:Jonathan Hans Christian: - https://www.artstation.com/vixorarts- https://www.instagram.com/vixor_arts/ Olivia Dharmawan:- https://www.instagram.com/nullnol_/ - https://www.linkedin.com/in/olivia-dharmawan-9b611a1a6/?originalSubdomain=au Richardo Surya Christopher:- https://www.linkedin.com/in/richardo-christopher-659935169/?originalSubdomain=au- https://www.artstation.com/ric-arch Neeshma Sadanandhan:- https://linktr.ee/Neeshma Ng Ser Ting:- https://www.artstation.com/serting/ - https://www.instagram.com/serting Julie Park:- https://www.julieparkvo.com/ - https://www.linkedin.com/in/julie-park-8112a9b6/ William Biggs:- https://www.williambiggsaudio.co.uk/ - https://twitter.com/willbiggsaudio Barney M-L:- https://www.barneyml.com/
Introducing the Founder of Motion Plus Design, Kook Ewo: We Create Events and Curate Digital Art
Fox Renderfarm Interview
Born in 1979, Kook Ewo is the founder of Motion Plus Design, the largest festival for Motion Design Art - with regular events in Paris, Los Angeles, Tokyo + 15 cities. The festival is promoting the art of motion design across the world by creating international events and sharing its best resources. Kook is also a Title sequence designer for cinema & TV and used to be a regular teacher at Gobelins School in Paris.Kook Ewo - Reel 2013 - Classical Version As the best cloud rendering service provider in CG industry, Fox Renderfarm is dedicated to fostering the development of the visual arts industry. We are glad to be one of the sponsors of Motion Plus Design. Here‘s our exclusive interview with the Founder, Kook Ewo, in which he talks about what we can’t miss about Motion Plus Design and his unique experience & insight into motion design.- Kook Ewo- Founder of Motion Plus Design- Paris Fox Renderfarm: Congrats on the successful Motion Plus Design Paris 2021! Could you give us a brief recap about the highlights in the Paris 2021 event?Kook: This edition was a great success thanks to the amazing lineup of Artists Maurice Fransen, Arc4G, Magali Garcia, Mattis Dovier, Simon Holmedal, Fanny Rollot, Eric Brocherie & Cedric Klapisch and Ambre Collective! Trailer here. This year we could also feel that the NFT world was part of the game. Motion Plus Design Paris 2021 Trailer Fox Renderfarm: We’ve all been through a tough period of time since the COVID outbreak, what challenges has Motion Plus Design been facing since the COVID-19? And how did you deal with it?Kook: Yes, the COVID outbreak was hard as we were about to launch new events in many cities in 2020. That said, before COVID arrived and between lockdowns, we did Motion Plus Design editions in Paris, Los Angeles, Taipei, Barcelona, Berlin, Istanbul and we finished the year with an “Online” Tokyo Edition, for the first time. Many other cities were scheduled later, but they’ve all been cancelled. In 2021, events are slowly coming back to cities, but this is still very complex to deal with each country's policy about Covid.The Good news about 2021 is definitely NFTs: for the first time in our industry, Motion Design artists can actually sell their work! And the funny fact is that we know very well 2 of the most popular artists in this world, as we invited them to our events: Beeple and Pak! So we took a lot of time to study… and then we launched “ignition”, the first NFT Motion Design Collection, featuring 20 amazing artists from all around, all to be sold on the SuperRare NFT website. At the time I'm talking to you, most of them have been sold.IGNITION, THE FIRST NFT COLLECTION OF MOTION DESIGN ALIVE © Beeple !Cube © PakCube © Pak Fox Renderfarm: Please give us some info about the upcoming event in Los Angeles, and what we can’t miss?Kook: Motion Plus Design Los Angeles 2022 will happen on March 26 at the mythic Montalban Theater, Hollywood. I can’t reveal the lineup right now but I can tell you should be around! Fox Renderfarm: What’s your vision for Motion Plus Design?Kook: Motion Plus Design’s purpose will always be to promote the greatest Motion Design Artists. This means we will still invite the best of them around the world, curate collaborations between them, curate NFT collections with them and create an Art Center with them. Fox Renderfarm: Could you share with us your career experience and how you established Motion Plus Design?Kook: I started from zero. I had no drawing skills, no experience, no network. I learned Motion Design by myself in 1999 (mostly After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere from Adobe), then after 2 years, I taught those tools in training centres. Ironically some of these (older than me) students gave me my first jobs in TV! Then I had the chance at 25 to work on the Blockbuster “Silent Hill” directed by Christophe Gans. I've made the title sequence for this film, which opened for me the doors for American film directors such as Vincenzo Natali, Paul Solet, Oren Jacoby, Betsy West and Guillermo Del Toro! I owe everything to Christophe Gans! Then I started Motion Plus Design, then the team grew up with years, then it became worldwide.Silent Hill: Revelation 3D End Title Sequence by: Kook Ewo Fox Renderfarm: From your portfolio, we know that you have also been involved in many films and TV productions, which of them is the most unforgettable for you? And why?Kook: Hard question! Every title sequence has its own story and relationship with a specific director. One of the most unforgettable for me was for the TV series The Strain from director Guillermo Del Toro: i shot pieces of meat that were supposed to be tongues of Vampires. The set was really “handmade” but still, it did work! The best souvenirs I got are actually shootings when we talk about title sequences…The Strain (TV series) / Title sequence directed by Guillermo del Toro Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins do you use mostly in motion design?Kook: As a title sequence designer, I still use mostly Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere and a little bit of Cinema 4D. That said, most motion designers now use 3D softwares as Cinema 4D, Houdini, Blender, 3ds Max, Maya…. I wish I could learn them all… but I just have too many things to do already! Fox Renderfarm: What do you think are the important factors that make a MoGraph project great and outstanding? Could you give some advice to people who want to step into or new to the CG industry?Kook: What makes a Motion Design project interesting to me is its authenticity, its own personal way of telling things. Sometimes it can be very subtle, a new type of animation, a way of mixing unexpected ideas together. There are a lot of influences and trends out there that a lot of people are trying to mimic. I’m not against that but an outstanding project to me is the one that goes out of these roads. The only advice I could give to new people is: allow yourself to mimic as long as it’s for technical learning reasons, but then try to “find yourself”. Fox Renderfarm: Any artworks or artists inspire you the most?Kook: I’m a huge fan of all the Artists I invited to Motion Plus Design. You can find all their conferences and interviews on Motion Plus Design website for free. Now if I had to choose, the one that inspired me personally the most is the Genius Artist Somei. To me, he “got it all”: the style, the rhythm, the choreography... I sincerely think he’s one of the most talented people on earth.Beeple | LOS ANGELES 2019 R I G H T - A Reverse Film Produced by SOMEI DESIGN Fox Renderfarm: Anything else you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?Kook: I would just say: please take time to learn about the NFT world. I think this could change a lot of things and we all should embrace that! Thanks for reading!
How Rao Jinyu, SCI-Arc Graduate Integrates Children's Psychology with Architecture to Create Her Unique ArchViz Project in C4D
C4D, architecture, children’s psychology, softness, and female perspective… What will you think of if you see all those words together? Miss. Rao Jinyu, a graduate of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) created her unique architecture design by integrating all these elements, delivering warmth and comfort.!ParadoxicalThe first 4C Architecture and Design Creativity Exhibition themed Paradoxical was successfully held in Shanghai in July and August 2021. Fox Renderfarm, as a TPN-Accredited cloud rendering services provider, is honored to be the sponsor of this event and have the chance to support the emerging and vigorous architects in China.!Paradoxical PosterPoster Among the exhibitors, Fox Randerfarm is very glad to have had an interview with the brilliant Designer and Director Mr. Xin Liu. He discussed how he shifted the boundary of physical and virtual worlds in 3D art through his designs and creations.!Shifting the Boundary of Physical and Virtual Worlds in 3D Art Introducing Designer & Director, LIU XinShifting the Boundary of Physical and Virtual Worlds in 3D Art: Introducing Designer & Director, LIU Xin(1)Shifting the Boundary of Physical and Virtual Worlds in 3D Art: Introducing Designer & Director, LIU Xin(2)Besides, Fox Renderfarm has also invited another outstanding architect Miss. Rao Jinyu to our interview.- Rao Jinyu- Architect- From: China- Master of Architecture II, SCI-Arc- Bachelor of Architecture, Shanghai University Unlike the conventional architecture we generally see which is solid and cold, the architectural artworks by Rao are of bright colors and soft materials. You will always find some surprising objects in her projects, such as stuffed toys, inflating balloons, or scattering flower petals. From the objects she chose to her unique design language, audiences can easily sense femininity, a romantic atmosphere, and a sense of comfort.!Grow Back to the Eden © Ran Jinyu (Rao’s Undergraduate Thesis)Grow Back to the Eden © Ran Jinyu (Rao’s Undergraduate Thesis) In fact, the younger brother of Rao has suffered from manic depression for a long time. She always accompanied her brother to do the therapy. In the meantime, her interest in children’s psychology grew, and she hopes to help them through her architectural design. From Grow Back to the Eden, her undergraduate thesis to Soft Architecture, her graduate thesis, she gradually explores and researches the possibility of the environment of the institutions for children’s psychotherapy.!Paradoxical - Rao JinyuIn our interview, Rao shared her inspirations, pipeline, and other ArchViz production details with us. Moreover, she discussed the differences between the learning methods for Architecture in China and America, artists who inspire her, and her empathy and care for children’s psychology.Soft Architecture Animation Fox Renderfarm: Hi Jinyu, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you briefly introduce yourself?Rao: My name is Rao Jinyu. I would like to perceive the world sensitively from a female's perspective, and my architecture design is my inner monologue to the outside world. Fox Renderfarm: How did you constantly form your colorful and romantic design language?Rao: I learned children's painting when I was a child. The colors of children's images are very bright and vivid, which improves my sense of colors and cultivates my aesthetic appreciation. I am a sensitive and emotional person, at the same time, I am quiet and introverted, so I hope to express my feelings with vivid colors and by creating a romantic atmosphere. I may be a pessimistic person, but when creating, I prefer to use bright colors. I like to design romantic things to express my inner expectations and things that will make people happy. My work is a reflection of what is in my mind.!Soft ArchitectureSoft Architecture Student: Jinyu RaoAdvisor: Florencia PitaPre Advisor: Jackilin BloomCultural Agents: Jasmine Benyamin Fox Renderfarm: What is the inspiration of Soft Architecture?Rao: This is my Graduate Thesis. I designed it as a children's psychological counseling center. There is an institution in the United States called Children's Institute, a children's psychotherapy institution. I want to put my soft building in the middle of its courtyard, which is a reconstruction program. The target audience of soft architecture is children, who like to play in giant inflatable installation toys that are soft. Soft objects are more attractive to children, and they can help children improve their mental health.!Soft-Architecture-Front-&-Back-Render!Soft-Architecture-Front-&-Back-RenderSoft Architecture Front & Back Render !Location - Rao JinyuLocation Fox Renderfarm: What are the references for Soft Architecture?Rao: Harry Harlow's Monkey Love Experiments - I learned about this experiment while I was doing my undergraduate thesis. It concludes that softness can substitute for the love provided by the primates’ parents to their children. So I chose to achieve psychological healing by making the buildings soft.!Harry Harlow's Monkey Love ExperimentsCute Aesthetics - This inspiration comes from the article "The Cuteness of the Avant-Garde". It reckons that soft materials can be more easily shaped according to humans’ affective demands. That means pinching in different places of soft materials can get desired deformations. From this point of view, soft things interact with people, and it responds to a human’s psychological needs, unlike a cold wall which is unable to provide any response. So I infer that soft touches are helpful for psychological healing.!Cute Aesthetics Fox Renderfarm: Why did you add Yoshitomo Nara’s painting of children in your artwork?Rao: The protagonists of Yoshitomo Nara's paintings are all little girls. From the expressions of these girls, you can see the helplessness of the children. Children may understand everything that happens in the adults’ world and they need care and love. Maybe they don't like the way their parents regulate them, but they can only express it through helpless expressions.!Yoshitomo Nara Fox Renderfarm: What is the inspiration of Wearable Architecture?Rao: When the COVID-19 epidemic outbreak just began, the instructor of my work - Hernán Díaz Alonso, CEO of our school, showed us a video of a music festival. Everyone who participated in the music festival was in a balloon which also became a kind of isolation.!The Flaming Lips - Assassins of Youth Live ShowThe Flaming Lips - Assassins of Youth Live Show Fox Renderfarm: Could you share with us the different forms and functions of Soft Architecture?Wearable Architecture Rao: Wearable Architecture is mainly a balloon.!Wearable ArchitectureClothes - When the balloon is deflated, it can be used as clothes with beautiful pleats.!Wearable Architecture -1Architecture - When the balloon is inflated, it becomes a big space that can shelter people. It can float in the air, water, etc. It can turn each Ferris wheel carriage into a room and renew the abandoned amusement facilities when it is inflated.!Wearable Architecture!Wearable ArchitectureLandscape - The surface of the balloon is a hydroponic system that can absorb the smog in the air and turn it into plant food. The plants will be scattered on the ground after the explosion to renew the abandoned amusement park/city and become a landscape system.!Landscape!Landscape!Landscape Fox Renderfarm: What is the reference for the material of Wearable Architecture?Rao: I saw 2 photos. The creator pours oil paints of different colors together. The green and pink paints slowly blend together and form the beautiful transition effects on their verges. The pictures are taken at that very moment. When I was creating Wearable Architecture, I considered the permeability and sealing of the building. And I also needed to assess the position of windows and walls, so some parts were simulated as translucent gel material. I made the darker parts transparent, such as the parts in pink, brick red, mint green and so forth. In this way, the open part of the building is very organic, stretching along the boundaries between different colors.!Wearable Architecture!Wearable Architecture Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use for Wearable Architecture?Rao: Cinema 4D + Octane renderer. And I’ve used a lot of dynamic simulations in C4D.Cloth Simulation - for the pleats and soft parts of the cloths.!Wearable ArchitectureSoft body- for the inflating/inflated balloons.!Soft bodyX-Particles - It is used to make the scattering effect of blooming flowers after the explosion. Each flower is a particle, so it can be made with the particle simulator.!Soft body Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG?Rao: When I first entered the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), it was the Graduate Thesis Exhibition. I found that 70% of the artworks in the exhibition contain animation. I never thought about using animation to present architecture before. Still, I found animation a very powerful medium, since it can be made as movies and TV series, and it is also a very good way to demonstrate architecture. Fox Renderfarm: What is the main difference between the learning methods for Architecture in China and America?Rao: Architecture education in China pays more attention to basic knowledge. It mostly discusses architecture itself and has fewer connections with other disciplines. In the past, when I was taking my undergraduate in China, I often had to produce an A1 big picture with a lot of architectural analysis drawings: site analysis, landscape analysis, architectural function analysis, and conceptual analysis... On the one hand, it can lay a solid foundation for students. On the other hand, it can make them think more clearly.While the learning methods abroad will be more straightforward. I haven't drawn any analysis charts since I came to the United States. Whereas, here they pay more attention to architectural expression. It is no longer necessary to produce densely packed pictures or read pictures but more to intuitively observe and feel the architecture itself.I have always wanted to design children's psychotherapy spaces. My undergraduate thesis, "Grow back to the Eden" is also a children's psychotherapy center. There are many tiny houses on a mountain. The architectural methods are adopted based on the residential relations between parents and children at different stages in order to solve the problems of children’s psychology.!Grow Back to the EdenGrow Back to the Eden When I got to graduate school, I used a more simple and straightforward method - I directly made the building soft. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t make it that way in my undergraduate studies, and I don’t think it is feasible for me to do so at that time. Fox Renderfarm: Any artist or artwork inspires you the most?Rao: First of all, the mentor of Wearable Architecture, my principal, Mr. Hernán Díaz Alonso. He has a great influence on me in many aspects such as my speculative logic.!National Museum of World Writing © Hernán Díaz Alonso!National Museum of World Writing © Hernán Díaz AlonsoNational Museum of World Writing © Hernán Díaz Alonso Also, Wang & Söderström, they focus on the digital representation of physical materials, which is called Phygital Materiality.!Wang & Söderström!Wang & SöderströmIDENTS © WANG & SÖDERSTRÖM And I particularly like Gaudí's buildings. His buildings’ shapes are round, mellow, and very colorful.!Casa Milà © Antoni GaudíCasa Milà © Antoni Gaudí Casa Batllo © Antoni Gaudí !Sagrada Familia © Antoni GaudíSagrada Familia © Antoni Gaudí Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?Rao: CG is a very cutting-edge and emerging way to present architecture, and it will have a huge market in China and will be constantly growing. Like Wang & Söderström that I mentioned earlier, they all make digital materials and express architecture in new media. It has great potential in the crossover expression of architecture. For CG enthusiasts, there is a lot to explore. Architecture can be linked with many fields to make fascinating effects. Just like what you can see in this 4C Architecture and Design Creativity Exhibition.!4C Architecture and Design Creativity Exhibition in Shanghai!4C Architecture and Design Creativity Exhibition in Shanghai!4C Architecture and Design Creativity Exhibition in Shanghai4C Architecture and Design Creativity Exhibition in Shanghai Rao’s contact:Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgLinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jinyurao Portfolio: https://issuu.com/raojinny/docs/portfolio_issue WeChat：lianjunshui INS: raojinny
How to Make an Escheresque Nightmare in 3ds Max
Fox Renderfarm Interview
What’s there in the dark? A pink tentacle monster with yellow eyes, trying to catch me when I sleep? Oh, no, just a heap of clothes. !CG BOOSTFox Renderfarm, as a world-leading cloud rendering service provider, sponsored the 30th CG Boost Challenge themed on "Monster in the Closet". And we are glad to have an interview with the 1st Place winner, Tom Doizy. His work stands out for its Escher composition effect, the fisheye effect and delicate details.“Out of time or space, neither awake nor asleep, reality melts into nightmares… Can’t wait for the alarm to ring.”!Monster in the Closet - Tom Doizy© Tom Doizy Fox Renderfarm: Hello Tom, thank you for accepting our interview. Could you please give us a brief introduction?Tom: Hi, I'm a 25 years old french CG enthusiast, currently living in Réunion island, and improving my CG knowledge with a perspective of making a living from it. Indeed, after working in scientific research and woodworking, I am now fully engaged in this long-standing passion that is CG for me. Fox Renderfarm: Congrats on winning 1st Place in the CGBoost Monster in the Closet Challenge, how do you feel about it? Could you share with us the inspiration behind it?Tom: I'm really happy about this challenge. I feel like I have succeeded in sharing the great pleasure I had in making this image. I’d like to thank my roommates and friends who deserve those congratulations too for their precious help. This is my second participation in a CGBoost Challenge. I did submit an entry for the previous one, « Treehouse », which has already been a great experience. After that, when the new topic « Monster in the closet » came up, I went through some research. Yet, I was not inspired enough and decided not to participate. Two days later, while looking at some M.C. Escher artworks with something else in mind, I felt unsettled by what I saw. It gave me the same exact disturbing feeling that a monster in a closet could evoke for me. I have found it interesting to make people feel this uneasiness without explicitly showing what causes it. I therefore started to blockout a scene with this idea leading my way.!WIP 01 - Monster in the Closet - Tom DoizyWIP 01 !WIP 02 - Monster in the Closet - Tom DoizyWIP 02 !WIP Override - Monster in the Closet - Tom DoizyWIP Override !Treehouse © Tom DoizyTreehouse © Tom Doizy Fox Renderfarm: The camera angle you chose is quite unique and made the artwork outstanding, why did you choose this angle? Is there any special consideration for the composition of the whole picture?Tom: The choice of this camera angle was one of the major ideas when I was designing the image, it was actually the first element I set up in the scene. I wanted the child surrounded by his nightmare. The overlooking fish-eye makes him crushed by all the walls of his bedroom. It also helped to show him being drawn into a vertiginous bottomless pit. Fox Renderfarm: There are many details on the floor, how did you make the scratchy effects of the wooden floor? Did you model from scratch?Tom: Like the camera angle, I had this floor in mind from the beginning. I first modeled a simple wooden floor, with separated planks, then I used a particle system, made with TyFlow, to create this effect. After tweaking the parameters several times, I finally got a result I was happy with. Fox Renderfarm: The interleaving effects of the space add some surreal touch to the artwork, how did you achieve that ?Tom: I tried to take advantage of working in a virtual world to be able to create impossible spaces. So after some head scratching and rotations in every possible direction, I certainly came up with the least coherent scene I've ever done, as these views demonstrate !!Viewport 01 - Monster in the Closet - Tom DoizyViewport 01 !Viewport 02 - Monster in the Closet - Tom DoizyViewport 02 Fox Renderfarm: The numerous doors make the lighting sophisticated, could you elaborate on some more details about the lighting design?Tom: The only lighting in the scene came from the doors and the bedside lamp. Given the angle of the scene, its geometry and the extreme fish-eye, the lighting knowledge I had was not relevant.Because the door lighting tended especially to drag too much attention, I had to try a few different approaches, to play with the opening of each door, to test many distances and intensities for each light... Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use for the artwork?Tom: My main 3D software is 3ds Max, I used V-ray as renderer and Photoshop for the final compositing. The only plugin used in this scene is TyFlow for the wooden floor. Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take to finish the artwork? What is the most challenging part? How did you solve it?Tom: I estimate that I spent about 100 hours on this project, spread over 3 weeks, and most of that time was dedicated to polishing details.One challenging part was to make the fish-eye effect. The settings in my software did not allow me to distort the image that much, so I had to point my camera at a spherical mirror to get the effect. The drawbacks of this trick were that I could not use any render passes to help the composting process. Also I could not use hidden lights to enhance the details I wanted (because they were still shown in the reflection), and the rendering time was considerably longer: the 4K version took nearly 24 hours to render.!Monster in the Closet - Tom DoizyMonster in the closet 4K Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG? Could you share with us your educational and work experiences?Tom: I discovered CG during a school internship at the age of 13, and I have never stopped since. I've been spending an increasing amount of time on it for the last 2 years, and the more I explore this world, the more I like it. After graduating from French highschool, I studied science, which led me to work for a year in electrochemistry research. I then studied cabinet making for a year and worked in this field for another year. I stopped this job a few months ago, and I am now training full time in CG. Here are some examples of personal and professional work I recently did.!Concept by Johanna Gregoire -3!Concept by Johanna Gregoire -4!Concept by Johanna Gregoire -5!Nature morteNature morte !Nature vivanteNature vivante (Johanna Grégoire (pro) – Nature morte and Nature vivante (personal)) Fox Renderfarm: Any artwork or artist inspires you the most?Tom: I would say Chopin! Sure it's not actually visual artwork, but I often listen to his pieces while working. Fox Renderfarm: Is there anything you want to share with the CG enthusiasts?Tom: Yes ! For the 3ds Max + Vray or Corona users, there is the excellent Adán Martín youtube channel, where I basically learned almost everything I know about texturing. There is also Unmesh Dinda from the channel PiXimperfect who is to me the best photoshop teacher I can think of.
How to Create a 3D GK Figure in ZBrush and 3ds Max
FGT3D Hunter Challenge organized by the TPN-Accredited cloud rendering services provider, Fox Renderfarm, was started in June, 2021 and sponsored by our amazing sponsors, including Corona Renderer, TopoGun, Friendly Shade, Graswald, Raysync, Textures.com, Texturebox, iCube R&D Group and Marmoset. After the selection by our jury, 3 Professional artworks and 3 Student artworks were picked and would be awarded the prizes provided by our amazing sponsors. Congratulations to all the winners! And thanks to everyone for participating!!FGT3D Hunter Challenge is now open for submissions!The third place winner in the Professional category of the FGT3D Hunter Challenge goes to ManWai Chuk with his work, Guide Man. “His image gives me the creeps, no one would want to be hunted by this hunter, high details on the textures, lighting and rendering is matching the creepy character, even though the rendering is designed to be a GK figure, but still the scary character and the lighting key gives one hideous feeling.” Our judge Ben Cheung said, who is also one of the 2020 VES Awards Nomination Judges.Let's find out how ManWai made the amazing artwork through the exclusive interview with Fox Renderfarm.Guide Man © ManWai Chuk Fox Renderfarm: Hi, ManWai! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?ManWai: Hi everyone, my name is Manwai. I come from Taiwan. I am interested in 3d characters. I'm very happy to participate in this competition. Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning 3rd place in the Professional Category of the FGT3D Hunter Challenge, how do you feel about that?ManWai: I am glad that my creation can be affirmed & like my style. Fox Renderfarm: How long did you finish the work, Guide Man?ManWai: It took me about 2 months after I got off work. Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use?ManWai: I usd Zbrush, 3ds Max, Substance painter, Photoshop Fox Renderfarm: What’s the inspiration behind your artwork?ManWai: Guide Man is taken from my old work Skeleton Centaur. I wanted to give it a different identity. Guide Man leads the dead to the path of judgment. This time, I return to my favorite Japanese dark style. Abandon the use of more aggressive weapons and exaggerated shapes, and instead use small-soldier-style armor and weapons. The simple and expressionless mask and the centaur structure are the characteristics. Carrying the faint light, I want to give a restrained and oppressive atmosphere.!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk Fox Renderfarm: The unusual design of this character caught our eye, as did the depth of field effect, and the presentation of the character as if they were a miniature model from a table top game. How did you make it?ManWai: I usd Zbrush for modeling, 3ds Max for topo & UV, Substance painter for texture. I like the depth of field effect strongly. Substance Painter Iray is great and simple. I rendered and made a miniature model effect in it. Fox Renderfarm: High details on the textures, lighting and rendering is matching the creepy character. How did you make it?ManWai: Textures are made in Substance Painter. Lighting used HDRI in Substance painter and rendering in IRAY. I tried the Marmoset Toolbag to render, but Substance painter is better.!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?ManWai: I exported the FBX format and encountered an uneven surface. When exporting FBX, uncheck Keep edge direction of Geometry. Solve this problem. It took me a lot of time to find it.!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk!Guide Man © ManWai Chuk Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?ManWai: I learned a lot of 3D skills from artists Zhelong Xu& Johnnyxiao.!Welcome to The Strange Planet © Zhelong XuWelcome to The Strange Planet © Zhelong Xu Old Jungle Warrior © Johnnyxiao Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey? ManWai: School education teaches me the basics of art. I worked in post-production and learned the concept of animation synthesis. And learned 3d modeling, mapping and animation in game companies. Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?ManWai: Do your own creation and learn from it. Fox Renderfarm: What do you think of the FGT3D Challenge, any suggestions for us?ManWai: Hope that there will be more diverse challenge themes in the future. Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any advice for future participants in the competition?ManWai: Regardless of the result of the game. You can learn from it. Just do it.
Creating A Cartoon Character For AAA Games in ZBrush and Maya
Fox Renderfarm Interview
FGT3D Hunter Challenge organized by the TPN-Accredited cloud rendering services provider, Fox Renderfarm, was started in June, 2021 and sponsored by our amazing sponsors, including Corona Renderer, TopoGun, Friendly Shade, Graswald, Raysync, Textures.com, Texturebox, iCube R&D Group and Marmoset. After the selection by our jury, 3 Professional artworks and 3 Student artworks were picked and would be awarded the prizes provided by our amazing sponsors. Congratulations to all the winners! And thanks to everyone for participating!!FGT3D Hunter Challenge is now open for submissions!The first place winner in the Student category of the FGT3D Hunter Challenge goes to YanniCk Knöller with his work, Hunter Game ready.“The rendering of the various materials is very well done. I especially like how fabrics, like the thin pink one on the broken stuffed animal, the character's jacket and the large patch on the arm, look. Also, the dark humor with the giant blade and the stuffed animal game is well done.” One of our judges, Miho Aoki said, who is the Associate Professor of Computer Art University of Alaska Fairbanks.Let's find out how YanniCk made the amazing artwork through the exclusive interview with Fox Renderfarm.!Hunter Game ready © YanniCk Knöller Hunter Game ready © YanniCk Knöller - YanniCk Knöller- Junior Character Artist- France Fox Renderfarm: Hi, YanniCk! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?YanniCk: Hi, I’m from Spain, I’m living in Paris. One year ago I finished my degree in 3D video games, and now I’m with my Mentor Juan Novelletto to improve my work, and we are making personal projects such as new characters. Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning 1st place in the Student Category of the FGT3D Hunter Challenge, how do you feel about that?YanniCk: Thank you. I am pleased to have won the Hunter Challenge. Thanks Wenxu Xu for the awesome concept.!Hunter © WenXu XuHunter © WenXu Xu Fox Renderfarm: How long did you finish the work, Hunter Game ready?YanniCk: At the beginning the principal objective wasn’t to finish the character. My objective was understanding all the pipeline and workflow from my Mentor. And it took me a few months. Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use?YanniCk: I used Zbrush for the sculpt, Marvelous designer for the clothes, Maya for the Uvs maps, Adobe Substance 3d for the bake and textures, Photoshop for some retouch shapes and making alphas, Marmoset toolbag 3 for the final render.!Hunter © WenXu Xu!Hunter © WenXu Xu!Hunter © WenXu Xu Fox Renderfarm: What’s the inspiration behind your artwork? Any references?YanniCk: Since I was a child and teenager I loved painting Warhammers and other collectibles, I read some fantasy books, like Inkheart from Cornelia Funke, and classic films, like The Lord of the rings. And my first game, which inspired me a lot, was Monkey Island. And this project was born with the concept/illustration of Wenxu Xu. Fox Renderfarm: The render has great character design and eye popping detail on the cloth design. How did you make it?YanniCk: Many many hours in Marvelous design, with a lot of references to real clothes. And a lot of feedback from Juan.!Hunter © WenXu Xu-4 Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?YanniCk: Being my first work oriented to triple A Games. I found some difficulties as follows: The clothes and the final render, I solved them thanks to Juan, he gives me a lot of feedback and tricks, to make my work better.!Hunter © WenXu Xu-5!Hunter Game ready © YanniCk Knöller Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks inspired you most?YanniCk: There are too many to name all of them. But some of them are: Daniel Cockersell, Maria Panfilova, Marco Plouffe, Daniel Bel, etc. Demon Bust - Chief © Daniel CockersellAbduction © Maria Panfilova!B.3.T.L. Insectoids © Marco PlouffeB.3.T.L. / Insectoids © Marco Plouffe!Carnage Premium © Daniel BelCarnage Premium © Daniel Bel Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey? YanniCk: I’ve made a change in my life, from passionate High Gastronomy to learning 3D video games. I finished my studies only last year, and because of Covid I couldn’t have an internship, to practice what I learned in LISAA, in Paris. I was lucky to find a great artist who is teaching me to continue my training. Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?YanniCk: The two most important methods that I have learned are:The first, to create a Reference Guide of the Concept, looking for real ideas of the clothes, shoes, armors and all the things that the character has.That gives you a clear idea of what you are going to sculpt.The second, to make a blockout, to put all the things that the character has without any detail. looking at the silhouette, the negative spaces and then it’s much easier to start working. Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any advice for future participants in the competition?YanniCk: To enjoy the hard work they need and take references from the works of other professionals.
How to Create a Prometheus-style 3D Character in ZBrush
Fox Renderfarm Interview
FGT3D Hunter Challenge organized by the TPN-Accredited cloud rendering services provider, Fox Renderfarm, was started in June, 2021 and sponsored by our amazing sponsors, including Corona Renderer, TopoGun, Friendly Shade, Graswald, Raysync, Textures.com, Texturebox, iCube R&D Group and Marmoset. After the selection by our jury, 3 Professional artworks and 3 Student artworks were picked and would be awarded the prizes provided by our amazing sponsors. Congratulations to all the winners! And thanks to everyone for participating!!FGT3D Hunter Challenge is now open for submissions!What a well-designed and executed piece. The first place winner in the Professional category of the FGT3D Hunter Challenge goes to Hideyuki Ashizawa with his work, Elf Hunter. “This image stands out. The level of the character design and rendering materiality is fantastic. The dark theme successfully blends a sense of danger and charm - or I would rather say, the danger becomes the charm. Besides the character, which occupies most of the composition, I am also impressed by the pattern in the background. The seemingly discursive design of the pattern makes one think that the creator is paying tribute to the style of the movie Prometheus. Most importantly, the sophistication of the image does not just stay on the surface. The complexity and richness of the image also make the viewers want to explore something more profound, which is the character’s spirituality and ontology. The world the character lives in is not something that can be comprehended and processed with our banal human mind.” One of our judges, Frank WANG Yefeng said, who is the Assistant Professor in the Art Department from Rhode Island College.Let's find out how Hideyuki made the amazing artwork through the exclusive interview with Fox Renderfarm.!Elf Hunter © Hideyuki AshizawaElf Hunter © Hideyuki Ashizawa Fox Renderfarm: Hi, Hideyuki! Thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?Hideyuki Ashizawa: My name is Hideyuki Ashizawa. I live in Japan. I’m now 47 years old. I started making 3DCG for fun in May of 2018. My regular work is composing game music and creating sound effects for games. I've engaged in game production for about 27 years. Fox Renderfarm: Congratulations on winning 1st place in the Professional Category of the FGT3D Hunter Challenge, how do you feel about that?Hideyuki Ashizawa: Thank you for choosing me as number one! I couldn't believe it when I saw my name. I was so delighted! My wife and kids were as happy as I was to hear it. Fox Renderfarm: How long did you finish the work, Elf Hunter?Hideyuki Ashizawa: It took three days from idea generation to rendering. Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use?Hideyuki Ashizawa: ZBrush, Teya Conceptor, Keyshot, Affinity Photo Fox Renderfarm: What’s the inspiration behind your artwork?Hideyuki Ashizawa: Hans Ruedi Giger most influenced me. As for the film, Alien and Hellraiser affected me a lot.!GALERIE MUSEUM HRGIGER Fox Renderfarm: The level of the character design and rendering materiality is fantastic. How did you make it?Hideyuki Ashizawa: I can't draw at all, so I started creating with ZBrush from the beginning.Before I made it, I had an image in my head and used ZBrush and Teya Conceptor to shape it. I use Keyshot for rendering and Keyshot procedural textures for the textures.!Prometheus!Elf-Hunter-Hideyuki-Ashizawa-Keyshot!Elf-Hunter-Hideyuki-Ashizawa-ZBrush Fox Renderfarm: The dark theme successfully blends a sense of danger and charm. The seemingly discursive design of the pattern seems like you are paying tribute to the style of the movie Prometheus. How did you make it?Hideyuki Ashizawa: Prometheus is one of my favorite movies. When viewed from the side, it looks like a bad picture, but the objects are layered back and forth to represent the scene. I placed them so that the shadows would come out nicely when rendering. I completed it, seeking balance, which I think is intuitively good for me. Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties when creating this work? And how did you solve it?Hideyuki Ashizawa: Nothing particularly difficult, but I tried to express what I liked as much as I could. Fox Renderfarm: Could you briefly tell us your educational and work experience along your CG journey? Hideyuki Ashizawa: I have taught myself 3DCG for three years. I make 3DCG as a hobby, and I have no work experience in 3DCG.!3DCG © Hideyuki Ashizawa© Hideyuki Ashizawa© Hideyuki Ashizawa!3DCG © Hideyuki Ashizawa© Hideyuki Ashizawa Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any recommendable learning methods to improve professional skills?Hideyuki Ashizawa: I'm learning by purchasing tutorials from Artstation and Gumroad. Like my regular job of composing music and creating sound effects, I enjoy learning a lot from my favorite artists' works. And I feel that I can pursue what I like and get good results. Fox Renderfarm: What do you think of the FGT3D Challenge, any suggestions for us?Hideyuki Ashizawa: We all live in a challenging world. I want to thank you for holding such a fantastic contest. It was very inspiring to see the works of artists from all over the world. I hope you will continue to hold this contest in the future. Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any advice for future participants in the competition?Hideyuki Ashizawa: I create as a hobby, so I can't give any advice on skills, but if you pursue what you like and create as you like, I'm sure there will be people who will appreciate your work. Chances will come. So, although I know that creating is hard work, I truly hope you can continue to be a creator for as long as possible.
How a Team of 3 Made an Incredible Short and Won the Draft Selection of the Rookies Awards 2021
Fox Renderfarm Interview
On a lone desert road, a grizzled old man crosses paths with an exhausted boy, barefoot in a hospital gown. As the boy collapses, the good samaritan rushes to get him help ... RUNAWAY Piers Shepherd-Rose, Callum McKay, and Paulina Rybakaitė made this amazing short movie come true and won the Draft Selection of the Rookies Awards 2021, which is sponsored by the world-leading cloud rendering services provider, Fox Renderfarm.!The RookiesPiers Shepherd-Rose- Jr. Animator at Industrial Light & Magic- From: UKCallum McKay- Roto / Prep Artist at Union Visual Effects- From: UKPaulina Leonarda Rybakaitė- Junior Modeler at Industrial Light & Magic- From: UKThe dedicated team accepted Fox Renderfarm’s interview and shared with us contentful details about their creative process.!RUNAWAY Fox Renderfarm: Hi guys, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Could you briefly introduce yourself respectively?Callum: We’re all recent graduates from the University of Hertfordshire! Our graduate film, RUNAWAY, had us all taking on a variety of roles but primarily Callum was our Lighting and Compositing artist, Piers was our Art Director and Animator, and Paulina was our Character Modelling and Texture artist. Fox Renderfarm: Congrats on winning the Draft Selection of the Rookies Awards 2021, how do you feel about winning the prize? Callum: It was both an incredible and humbling experience for us to make it as far as the Draft Selection in the Rookies! We are incredibly proud of ourselves and how far our project has come. Fox Renderfarm: The plot is so intriguing in this animated short. What’s your inspiration for this short?Paulina: There were a lot of inspirations for particular elements of the story. We went through a lot of iterations of the plot until we were satisfied with it. It definitely helped to have great examples of short films that had effective storytelling and developed a specific atmosphere like Yona (2019) and the Witness (2019). We always went back to them to draw inspiration not only for the plot but also to understand how visual elements and specific styles help to build the whole world of the film. We also decided that we wanted to go with a specific time period the film would be set in and we chose the 80s as we liked the aesthetic of those times and it made sense for our plot to develop in those times. For that, we did a lot of research for both visual and aural elements. We looked at films like Fish Night (2019), Badlands (1973), Star Trek (1966) for both the environment settings as we wanted our film to be based in the Nevada desert and some plot elements that could be useful for our story. It made us excited to combine both - the 80s and its aesthetic with supernatural elements which was quite challenging to tackle at first. We wanted to make the film feel as if it is part of a bigger story so we had to figure how to use that one minute and a half effectively with all the elements working in harmony together.Yona (2019)!The Witness 2019The Witness (2019)!Fish Light 2019Fish Light (2019)Badlands (1973)Star Trek (1966) Fox Renderfarm: Could you introduce the task allocation in the creative process to us?Callum: As we were a small team, we had to wear a lot of hats during production but primarily our task allocation was as follows:Callum McKay - Lighting, Rendering & Compositing. Cloth Simulation.Piers Shepherd-Rose - Concept & Art Direction, AnimationPaulina Rybakaitė - Character Modeling & Texturing Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugins did you use for the animated short?Paulina: We used a wide range of software. Maya was the main software we used for certain bits of production like environment modeling, animation and lighting for example. For something specific like cloth simulation, we used Houdini. Character modeling was done mainly within Zbrush, Maya and Marvelous Designer. All the assets were textured in Substance Painter. And then finally, the film was rendered with Arnold renderer and put together and composited in Nuke. Fox Renderfarm: The lighting plays such an important role in creating the American road’s mid-night vibe and the suspension feeling in the short. How did you manage to set the lighting?Piers: As an initial part of our pre-production process, we developed a number of 2D concept paintings to quickly explore lighting ideas and help hone in on our visual style before developing our 3D assets. When we then came to create our 3D previsualization passes for the film, we were able to block-in our lighting using these paintings as reference - which further influenced our final lighting choices for the film once we had finalized our characters and set design. We strived to be very purposeful in our lighting & colour choices, in not only creating clear focal points for the audience, but also hinting at characterization through their design & placement. We designed the two main colours used throughout the film to be representative of the two main characters, and to highlight the contrast between them - this might not be immediately obvious for the audience, but we found it rewarding in development to consider every aspect of the visuals as thematically-linked to the narrative. Fox Renderfarm: The style of the characters is very unique which combines the oil painting and wooden texture. Why did you choose this special design? What’s the process of creating these 2 characters?Piers: We drew inspiration from a number of visually striking short animated films, including Alberto Mielgo’s The Witness & Kevin "Teau" Rose & Gautier Alfirevic’s YONA. We especially enjoyed how they blended 2D & 3D techniques to create unique visuals, specific to each film. !The WitnessThe Witness!YONA © Kevin Teau Rose & Gautier Alfirevic-1!YONA © Kevin Teau Rose & Gautier Alfirevic-2YONA © Kevin "Teau" Rose & Gautier AlfirevicTo create our characters, we began by researching into our chosen time period & setting, and collated lots of images that we could use to inform our design choices. From this research, we created 2D concept paintings for each character & explored different iterations for each - including variations on costumes, as well as alternate face designs. Once we had settled on a final design for each character, we started to build them in 3D. Eventually, the characters were textured, taken through look-development, and had a character rig built for each of them - which would ultimately be used by our animator to develop the final performances for each shot.!Runaway!Runaway!Runaway!Runaway!Runaway!Runaway Fox Renderfarm: When it comes to animation, we found the camera moves help the whole short draw the attention of the audience. Any special consideration behind the animation process? Piers: In regards to the camerawork, whilst they were entirely CG cameras, we set out to keep them as grounded as possible in realism - As in our visual design, the cameras operated realistically, we wanted to keep this consistent through their movement. We tried to consider how each shot might be achieved in real life with real cameras, & allowed this to inform our choices as to how we used them in the film. We also put thought into how specific camera movements evoked certain feelings to the audience, such as how a slow push-in might invite closer attention and immerse the audience into the scene. We went as far as to add tiny micro-movements to the camera animation for each shot, to further help bring them closer to realism.!Runaway -7 Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulties in the creative process? How did you solve them?Piers: Every day there was a new problem to solve! As a 3, we were quick to discuss potential issues and sought ways to navigate around them as best we could. At one point during production, our initial composer & sound designer tied to the project had to unfortunately leave her role due to personal reasons. Moving quickly, & thanks to a certain sound-licensing website, we were able to edit & finish the music and sound for the film entirely ourselves.!Runaway -8 Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take to finish the whole project?Callum: We had A LOT of ideas before coming up with RUNAWAY and it took us around six months of ideas generation before all agreeing on an idea that we really liked during September of 2020. After that, we set about developing the narrative as well as our visual style before eventually moving into full-fledged production which finished in June 2021. Fox Renderfarm: We are amazed that you created such a quality short with only 3 artists. Could you introduce the pipeline to us? Did you and your teammates do anything special to make the communication and cooperation efficient and effective?Piers: Thank you! Whilst we developed & led the project as a 3, we certainly couldn’t have done it without the help from a small number of ‘freelancers’ who filled in essential roles where we couldn’t. Our pipeline for the film reflected a fairly typical CG pipeline. Beginning in pre-production, the key stages included: Concept design, Pre-visualization, Modeling, Texturing, Look-development, Rigging, Animation, Cloth Simulation, Lighting & Compositing.As a small team working from home, organization & communication were essential - We used a project management application to keep track of our tasks & progress and kept in touch constantly by setting up team voice meetings week to week.!Runaway -9 Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any plan to prolong this animated short or create any other project based on the plot of RUNAWAY?Callum: We currently don’t have any plans on creating anything else based in the world of RUNAWAY although we’re definite that the inspiration and style we have adopted from working on the project will follow us along onto our new projects in the future. Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG? Could you share with us your educational and career experience?Piers: When I was younger I had the typical early dream of being an animator when I grew up - after getting through school & spending some time weighing up other options and working in retail after college, I decided to throw my hat in to properly pursue a degree in animation. This led me to the University of Hertfordshire where I’ve since been able to graduate with First Class Honours! During my time at University, I was fortunate to gain invaluable experience on 2 internships in the industry & since graduating I’ve been exceptionally lucky to start my career with Industrial Light & Magic as a Jr. Animator.Callum: When I was 16 and leaving secondary school here in the UK, I decided I wanted to go and study Games Art at college as I’ve always loved video games. After graduating from that college at 18, I set my eyes on pursuing a degree in it as well at the University of Hertfordshire. Shortly after starting on the course, I found out that there is a lot more than Games Art in the realm of 3D! I found Visual Effects and a little later down the line, compositing.Paulina: I never thought making CG was possible until I came to the UK and started studying at the university and funnily enough I did not have almost any experience with computers or software before it as I was mainly concentrating on traditional art and was aiming to be a 2D animator. When I started the animation course I realized that there are way more specialization opportunities and so I was not purely concentrating on 2D art anymore and tried out as many new things as possible as this course let us to. When I first picked up the 3D software, it amazed me how there were almost no limitations in making digital art, it was just so fun to always try to push yourself more to see what you can achieve and the problem solving aspect of making 3D art always intrigued me since. I am very grateful that our course made us try many different disciplines from the very beginning as because of that I found a big passion in 3D modelling and I am continuing to grow as an artist in that field currently working as Junior Modeller in Industrial Light & Magic. Fox Renderfarm: Any artworks or artists inspire you the most?Piers: I follow a swathe of animators online and am always inspired to see brilliant animation floating around the web - But, if I had to pick someone specific, I’d say I really enjoy the 2D gestural animation style of Glen Keane.Beauty and the Beast (Supervising Animator: Glen Keane)Paulina: There are so many, it is difficult to give only a few names. I try not to only concentrate on 3D artists either as there is so much that can be learned from traditional artists. I have to say though that I have been very inspired by digital artists that emphasize surface texture of models - Maria Panfilova is one of the great examples and she also draws inspiration from amazing traditional sculptors like Beth Cavener. From the realism side, I find Kris Costa’s work very inspiring and I can never get bored observing his portraits.!Beast statue 14 XM Studios © Maria PanfilovaBeast statue 1/4 XM Studios © Maria Panfilova!© Beth Cavener© Beth Cavener!Tribute to H.R. Giger © Kris CostaTribute to H.R. Giger © Kris Costa Fox Renderfarm: What’s your next step?Piers: Stay employed! I’m excited to continue building on my experience as an animator in the industry and will continue to develop my skills where I can and push myself to be as good as I can be. Callum: I just landed a job as a roto/prep artist at Union VFX! The next steps for me are growing my skill sets as both a paint & roto artist and a compositor with aspirations to move onto a fully-fledged compositing role.Paulina: Currently, my main goal is the same as mentioned before - stay employed! I am also concentrating on developing my skills during my free time after work and trying to dedicate at least a few hours per week to work on personal projects when I can. I am very happy with my current position and I am excited to keep learning and growing in this industry. Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services?Callum: When I was first researching various different cloud rendering service solutions for our project, I expected that it would be a complicated and difficult process. But after using Fox Renderfarm’s cloud rendering services, I realised that the service made it so easy and user-friendly to upload scenes, render them, and download the output in a few simple clicks. The customer support was great and the service made organizing our renders a lot easier as each render pass was put into its respective folder during the download as well! We’re definitely over the moon with our experience with Fox Renderfarm.
How to Make an Adventurous Treehouse in Blender
The concept of treehouse spurs a lot of imagination about the romantic or adventurous atmosphere with natural beauty from starry night, jungles to tranquille lakes and so forth. CG Boost set “Treehouse” as the theme of their September challenge, setting a stage to let numerous talented artists to splash their imagination and CG techniques.!CG BOOSTFox Renderfarm, as a world leading cloud rendering service provider, sponsored the great challenge. Plus, we are so honored to have the chance to interview the 1st Place winner - Florian Linke.- Florian Linke- Amateur CG enthusiast- From: Vienna, AustriaThe narrative and mysterious ambient delivered by the artwork catches the jury’s attention alone with the nice lighting and balanced compositing.!Treehouse - Florian Linke Florian about his entry:“The tree house built by survivors out of the remnants of wrecked ships that got lost and crashed down the waterfalls is meant to portray the will of people to not give up and survive, no matter the circumstances.This is my first participation, and during the creation of this project I had to learn about many new things like adaptive subdivision and volumes. It took me the whole month to complete, because I am not very advanced (yet), and overall it was really just a lot of fun experimenting around.”Let’s dig into our interview with Florian and enjoy the creative process altogether. Fox Renderfarm: Hey Florian, congrats on winning the 1st Place in the CGBoost Treehouse Challenge! Could you introduce yourself to us?Florian: Hello there and thank you very much, my name is Florian Linke and I am an amateur CG enthusiast from Vienna, Austria. Fox Renderfarm: The winning artwork is quite narrative and appealing, could you share with us the idea and inspiration behind the artwork?Florian: Both nature and pirates have always been very inspiring to me, and the theme of the challenge seemed to go really well with both. The idea is that some ships got lost and ended up crashing down the waterfalls in the background. After that, the survivors built a new home on the tree, partially out of the remains of the wrecked ships. I always liked the idea of never giving up, and wanted to do my best to portray this idea. Fox Renderfarm: What software and plugin did you use to create the artwork? Florian: I used Blender for the entire scene, and GIMP for some minor color correction. Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take to finish the artwork?Florian: I have been working on the project on and off for around three weeks. It took me so long because I had to experiment a lot with different things, and learn a lot of new stuff to be able to make some elements of the scene. Fox Renderfarm: Could you share with us your creative progress, from modeling to the final rendering?Florian: First, I started with a simple blockout, to get a rough idea for the layout. I changed this around a lot, until I had a better plan.!Treehouse - Florian Linke!Treehouse - Florian LinkeI then started to replace all the placeholder models with new ones, starting with the cliffs, then the tree, the house, and lastly, the background vegetation.The cliffs are just round cubes, stacked and subdivided, and displaced with a height map. The tree was made using Blender’s skin modifier, by intertwining the branches to create a sort of tree hand.!Treehouse - Florian LinkeLastly, I added some mist, tweaked the lighting, and tried to use volumes to make the waterfalls look more convincing. I then added the background vegetation, which was made in the same way as the big tree, and some smaller plants and treetops made from transparent images of leaves and branches.!Treehouse - Florian Linke Fox Renderfarm: The treehouse is the main object in the whole picture, did you model it from scratch? How did you make it vivid while keeping its structure organic? Florian: I first modeled some planks and wooden bars, then arranged them into sort of wall and floor modules, and then built the house itself out of these elements, keeping it all relatively loose and chaotic. After that I just modeled some decorative assets like nets and barrels and placed them on the platforms around the house.!Clay Render -Treehouse - Florian LinkeClay Render Fox Renderfarm: Are there any special considerations behind the texture?Florian: I tried to make everything look a little mossy, without stressing my PC too much, by mixing a moss material into every normal material. The moss on the tree and rocks is always on top, and on the house, it is in the nooks and corners. Fox Renderfarm: The lighting setup plays an important role in creating the atmosphere. How did you arrange the lighting, especially the fog and the detailed lighting in the cave?Florian: I modeled all the mist and fog in the scene as solid objects first, and then used Blender‘’s mesh to volume modifier to get the volume to have the exact shape I needed. The lights in the cave are just regular point lights, placed inside small lantern models. Fox Renderfarm: Did you meet any difficulty in the process? How did you solve it?Florian: One of the biggest difficulties was actually the cliffs. I am not super experienced when it comes to 3D art, so I had to experiment and try a lot of different approaches to get it right. Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG? Could you share with us your education and career experience in the CG industry?Florian: The first time I knew that I wanted to learn 3D art, was when I played on the original playstation as a kid. Fox Renderfarm: Could you give some advice to the people who want to step into this industry?Florian: Don’t let anything discourage or intimidate you. Learning 3D art is often hard and complicated, but if you keep at it, it will soon become second nature. There are so many programs and helpful tools as well as tutorials available nowadays, often for free or at a very affordable price, so no matter where you stand, nothing stands in the way of your dream! Fox Renderfarm: Any artwork or artist inspires you the most?Florian: I am a huge fan of the works from Zdzislaw Beksinski, his surreal and disturbing, yet strangely beautiful art really helps with getting new ideas. !Zdzislaw Beksinski© Zdzislaw Beksinski
Interview with Robb Innes: Co-founder and Director at PIXL VISN Media Arts Academy
Fox Renderfarm Interview
Fox Renderfarm, the best render farm, is deeply committed to supporting education and wishes to contribute to the development of the CG industry. We are so proud to form cooperation with PIXL VISN Media Arts Academy and offer its students an affordable pricing scheme to support educational purposes.Mr. Robb Innes, Co-founder and Director at PIXL VISN media arts academy shared his story about how he founded the great academy with Fox Renderfarm. Besides his devoted journey in the VFX and animation production education, he gave his advice to CG students and practitioners about how to gradually improve professional skills and go further in the career path. Check out our exclusive interview and don’t miss out a single inspiration.!Robb InnesRobb Innes Co-founder/ Director, PIXL VISN Fox Renderfarm: Hi Robb, thank you so much for accepting our interview! Please briefly introduce yourself? Robb: I’m Robb Innes, one of two founders and directors of PIXL VISN media arts academy in Cologne, Germany. !PIXL VISN Fox Renderfarm: How did you encounter CG and get started in the CG industry? And could you share with us how you set up the wonderful PIXL VISN media arts academy? Robb: When I was a child growing up in Vancouver, Canada, I regularly watched a 3D animated cartoon called “ReBoot.” which was one of the first computer-animated tv series in the World. One day I noticed that it was made in Vancouver, and I realized that I could work on animation without moving all the way to California. Later, I was fortunate enough to learn television production in high school and worked on some nationally broadcast television shows. A few years later, I enrolled in a 3D animation and VFX education where I met Andrei Stirbu. After we graduated and throughout our careers in the industry, we remained friends. By the time we started talking about starting a school, he was a lighting supervisor, and I was working as a VFX generalist and on-set VFX supervisor. !Andrei StirbuAndrei Stirbu Co-founder/ Managing Director, PIXL VISN At the end of 2010, we quit our jobs and moved to Cologne, Germany, with a couple of suitcases and the dream of opening an animation school. A little more than one year later, in January 2012, the first class started their education. Fox Renderfarm: Could you give us a brief introduction to PIXL VISN media arts academy? Robb: PIXL VISN specializes in training artists in Film, Television, Games, and Advertising, launching hundreds of careers in the industry. Since 2012 we have developed into the largest academy for the visual effects industry in Germany and can count ourselves among the World’s best schools in the field. Pixl Visn Showreel 2019 Fox Renderfarm: PIXL VISN media arts academy ranked 3rd in the Best 3D Animation Schools in the World and 10th in the Best Visual Effects Schools in the World by The Rookies in 2019. Could you give us more details about this honor? How do you feel about that? Robb: It is a great honor to be ranked so highly by the Rookies, mainly because of how schools are rated. Aspiring artists enter their work into an annual contest, and schools are ranked based on how their students did. So, the contest is based entirely on our graduates’ actual outcomes and not some checklist or the judge’s opinion of what might make a good school. I am very proud of the alumni for all the effort put into the work they submitted to the contest, of the instructors who guide and mentor them along the way; and of the staff who work to facilitate it all. !PIXL VISN media arts academy Fox Renderfarm: Students at PIXL VISN made really fine artworks with beautiful details. Could you share with us how PIXL VISN can keep bringing out excellent students? Robb: There is a lot of hands-on learning. Creating 3D artwork is a skill, and like any skill, it takes continued practice to develop. A cycle of Lecture-Project-Feedback is ongoing and repeats from the first week of class until the last. And that keeps going long into our careers. Our instructors are also experienced artists currently working in the industry, so they can, of course, explain all the theory and practical knowledge to our students. But more importantly, they can give great feedback and guidance because they are doing that already with professional artists. Teamwork is also a big part of the industry, and we work to encourage that. Throughout the education, we guide small groups of students through a variety of projects where they work together. Many of the best projects on our student’s demo reels were also from small teams. PIXL VISN student Janina Haftka Demo Reel 2019 Fox Renderfarm: Are there any particular artists you want to mention who graduated from PIXL VISN that you think are inspiring or motivating, for example, who have created amazing projects or worked in excellent studios? Robb: There are enough that I am afraid to start listing them because I will wake up tomorrow and remember a few more that I should have mentioned. Many of our students have worked on very cool projects, though, like a bunch of Marvel films, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, just among the things I watch personally. I have been a fan of Star Wars for as long as I can remember. So, watching the Mandalorian and knowing that 20 of our graduates worked on it was really awesome. If I had to pick out just one, then our very first student, Jonas Ulrich, who started at PIXL VISN in our first class back in 2012. After several years in the industry, Jonas is now working as a Senior VFX Coordinator at Industrial Light and Magic. This makes us very proud at PIXL VISN. Series that Jonas Ulrich involved in Fox Renderfarm: What is in the future for PIXL VISN? Robb: Our core purpose is really to enable aspiring artists to pursue their dream job. We will continue to strive to be the best place to learn Visual Effects and 3D while making our education available to more people in Germany and around the World. I was fortunate to grow up in a city that became an early hotspot for the industry, so there was more opportunity to enter the industry and then grow and develop. Today, artists at companies all around the World work together to create the Films and Games we all enjoy. Being a part of bringing the same opportunity to more people is great. PIXL VISN student Marius Pörsel Demo Reel 2018 Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about the CG industry in Germany? Robb: In the decade since we moved here, Germany’s CG industry has seen continued development, driven mainly through American productions. Large and renowned VFX studios like PIXOMONDO, RISE FX, Trixter, Scanline, Mackevision are working on international and award-winning projects. German film and television studios have also started making use of all the CG talents here, but there is still room for growth. State funding has spurred growth in the gaming industry as well. Ubisoft has a large studio nearby in Dusseldorf, and their artists make regular guests at PIXL VISN. High-quality VFX and CG were once rarely seen outside of film, whereas today, it is common to see tv-series and advertising with outstanding FX. Computer graphics is finding a home in more and more industries, such as real estate, fashion, and retail. Small studios and agencies are developing and specializing in Germany since the demands for these services are growing. Since Corona, cinemas are locked, and cinema productions are on hold, and much business has shifted to gaming and streaming, so studios had to re-orientate. But once cinemas open again, there will be even more assignments for the industry. Fox Renderfarm: Any artists or artworks that inspired you the most? Robb: A single CG feature film can take thousands of talented artists working together to create imagery you see on the screen, so it is hard to single anyone out. But the original VFX artists like Dennis Muren and John Knoll at ILM deserve acknowledgment for having paved the way for the generations of us that followed. Dennis Muren VFX artist/ supervisor, ILMVFX supervisor/ CCO, ILMOn the more technical side, I admire the work of Paul Debevec. His research in computer graphics has had a huge impact on the way we light and render for VFX. !Senior Staff Scientist, Google Research at GoogleSenior Staff Scientist, Google Research at GoogleIt is also rad to see computer graphics being accepted as an artistic medium. An early pioneer being Meats Meier. Anyone that has been working in the industry for a while will have seen his surrealist creations displayed on the loading screens of the software we use. !Optic © Meats MeierOptic © Meats Meier Fox Renderfarm: Do you have any advice for people who are interested in this field but have rarely learned any CG software, how can they learn and improve more effectively? Robb: There are many great resources to learn more about the industry online, including our own YouTube channel. FlippedNormals and Corridor Crew are also great channels that talk about the industry. Top Tips for Improving your ZBrush Sculpts © FlippedNormalsWe Compete to Make the Most SATISFYING Simulations © Corridor CrewGoing back to the Rookies, they have built an excellent platform for aspiring artists to learn more about the industry. It’s not just the contest for new job-ready artists like our graduates. They have regular challenges for all levels and articles about getting started in the industry. !THE ROOKIEShttps://www.therookies.co/ There is a never-ending supply of tutorials out there on every subject imaginable, and 3D is no different. Some of them are great resources, but so much of it may be obsolete or was not great to begin with. I have watched paid tutorials where the instructor was flat out wrong on the subject. But even with the best tutorials, feedback and support are far more essential to learn and develop. And it’s an integral part of our education. For more personal advice, we have regular open days where there is an opportunity to meet our students and ask us questions directly. Then, if anyone wants to see hands-on if 3D is right for them, we have a One-Day Workshop for beginners. You can learn about both on our newly updated website. !pixl visn's official websitehttps://www.pixlvisn.com/openhouse Fox Renderfarm: Any advice for students who are ready to step into their CG career? Are there any tips you think that can make students get a job more easily or get a better position? Robb: To get a job as a CG artist, you have to get good at it. It is as simple as that. But getting good enough to launch a career in the industry takes time, it takes hard work, and it takes guidance and support. For anyone who has decided that the CG career is right for them, studying at PIXL VISN will help get you there. Built right into our education is the best tip of all, that is to practice every day. It is easy to get distracted by shiny new tools and wanting to learn what every single button in Maya does. Our students are no different. We are constantly reigning them back in and keeping them on track to developing their skills and improving their craft. A demo reel is how an artist proves they are good enough for the job at any skill level. It is important to not just copy tutorials one-to-one, but actually create your own artwork that demonstrates you can be a productive artist. Because it's so important, we dedicate considerable time in our education to planning and preparing the reel, as well as regular feedback and guidance. For aspiring artists, it is also important to pay attention to render quality. If you are not careful, Renders can also take a lot longer than they need to. Optimizing them is crucial, even if using an affordable service like Fox Renderfarm. Our students repeatedly hand in rendered projects within deadlines, so it reinforces the importance of optimizing renders and getting the most out of the computer. Fox Renderfarm: What do you think are the most important qualities that a 3D artist should have in his/her career? Could you give some tips to CG artists about how to constantly improve techniques and artistic sense? Robb: I find the most important traits of 3D artists are passion, curiosity, and humility. The first two help make developing and growing as an artist a lot easier. It is tough to get good at something you are not passionate about or have no interest in learning. Humility because computer graphics is a team effort. Arrogance and ego get in the way of that and just make the work suffer. A general tip is to always use references. Don’t assume you know how something should look. This applies to every stage of the production, from modeling all the way to lighting and comp. To keep getting better as an artist, start projects, finish them, and then move onto the next one. The more times you finish a project, the faster you will grow. Finally, show people what you have learned. Whether it is teaching a school or just showing your peers a new technique that you learned, explaining anything to others strengthens your understanding of the topic. PIXL VISN student Lucas Sinewe Demo Reel 2019 Fox Renderfarm: How do you like Fox Renderfarm’s rendering services? Robb: I am only familiar with the services from helping students, but what I see looks great. The process is straightforward, with a lot of available renderers. The technical support I have seen Fox Renderfarm give in troubleshooting their renders is great. I can say that one of our teachers has been using Fox Renderfarm for over 4 years and is very happy with the service. No matter what time of day it is, there was always someone to help him with any problems. The process of uploading and downloading works smoothly, and loading the credit works without problems. In case of problems with renders or the file you uploaded, their TD tries to give possible solutions. Fox Renderfarm: Any other things you want to share with CG enthusiasts? Robb: The films you see and the games you play are not made by a handful of wizards in Los Angles. There are tens of thousands of people around the World working in computer graphics and the future will continue to see more demand for the skill. There are many different jobs under the umbrella of “CG Artist,” and it is actually more common to specialize. So, you also do not have to be incredibly artistic in the sense of being good at drawing or sculpting. If you are, that is great; those skills translate well into a number of the roles you could pursue. But there are also positions that are suited to more technical people that are good at building things and solving problems. It is not a crazy dream to work on the next Star Wars; our alumni do, and so can anyone who works for it.
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