3DArtist Issue 18 Interview – July 31st 2010
Due to space considerations, only
part of my interview ended up in the actual magazine. Please purchase
the magazine by clicking on the link below for the majority of the
Here to buy this issue.
the unused portion of the Q&A can
be read below...
3DA: What were you doing and where were you
working before your move to
Pixar Animation Studios? When and how did the job offer come about?
worked for a company called Blur Studio in Venice California, doing
Cinematics, Feature and Ride films and Commercial work. Blur was much
when I joined it than it is today, and almost everyone was a
generalist, so I
tended to do everything in a shot from the original modeling to the
composite. I learned so much at Blur. In early 2002 I decided it was
escape Los Angeles and applied to Pixar in San Francisco, and was lucky
to be offered a job. They were looking for someone with my skills for a
3DA: On a personal level, how do you keep
yourself motivated to keep up
with the fast pace of the CG industry?
real trick, I just love the field. It's not just a job for me, it's a
I like seeing new technology and trying new things, and figuring out
how I can
use new tools to help me improve my ability to take the visions in my
in the director's head) and make them a reality.
3DA: How does your work in the industry
differ to the personal creations
you choose to make in your spare time? Where do you seek your
personal work tends to be darker and more scifi oriented. That's not to
there isn't a lot of crossover, Wall-e for example is pretty close to
personal aesthetic. And I've learned so many lessons at Pixar in terms
theory, composition, lighting etc, all stuff that can be applied to any
and any aethetic sensibility. Most of my personal work is inspired by
There's so many odd creatures out there, so many interesting patterns,
and lighting conditions. All stuff I put in a big blender to spark my
3DA: Can you give us an idea about the
workflow behind your beautifully
abstract and often surreal personal projects?
I always start off with a sketch, just pencil / pen and paper. Then
into photoshop for adjustments (lots of liquify tool). Then I'll
usually do a
quick 2d color study, something ugly but that has all the right colors
lighting. Then I'll start the slower process of building the models in
texturing them, then rendering them and bringing the result in
then composite the pieces and paint ontop of them, so almost all of my
part 3d, part 2d. If I've done a good job, it's tough to tell where one
and the other begins.
3DA: What projects are next for you at
Pixar Animation Studios? And how
about personally – what can we expect to see from you in the near
I'll be on Cars 2 pretty much till the end of the year, after that, who
what my next adventure will be. From a personal perspective, my wife
and I are
expecting our first born in a few months, so personal projects will
have to be
on hold for a little while.
3DA: What do you think the future of CGI
film production has in store
for us? What would you like to see happen in the next few years?
like to see a radical change in the way we interface with our tools. I
interview with the inventor of the cellphone a few weeks ago, where he
most cellphones are made by engineers to impress other engineers, and
for the convenience of the end user. The same can be said for the
commercial 3d software, and that needs to change. I certainly want to
engineers doing work that interests them, but the way those projects
packaged up and handed to the end user needs to move out of the stone
need tools that are intuitive, easy to learn and use, and powerful. I
talking about dumbing down 3d software, I believe it's totally possible
create software that is both easy to use and powerful at the same time.
people "get it" (like the mudbox guys, the brazil guys, and apple's
UI team), but we need more software to embrace better interfaces.