CGCircuit is proud to present the latest in our on-going series profiling some of the leading technical and creative talent in the entertainment industry.
Today we would like to share with you our interview with one of the best Creature TDs in the VFX industry: Geordie Martinez.
Geordie currently works at Industrial Light and Magic as a Creature TD, Crowds Lead and also as trainer for the ILM Creature Dev department. He also publishes tutorials on our platform and he is currently teaching a workshop on Python titled “Learn Python inside Maya“. You can find the workshop here.
In this interview we ask Geordie about his career his work at ILM and more.
Can you introduce yourself and tell us some of the major productions you worked on?
Hello! I’m Geordie Martinez. I’m a creature TD and crowds lead at ILM. I am also the trainer for the Creature Dev department. I train all of the new hires coming in to get them up and running quickly. I’ve worked on The Avengers, Pirates of the Caribbean, Noah, Pacific Rim, Captain America Winter Soldier, Star Trek Into Darkness, Tomorrow Land, as well as a bunch of rides at ILM. I’ve been working in science animation and vfx since 2003. Continue reading →
RenderMan is now free for all non-commercial purposes, including evaluations, education, research, and personal projects.
It’s a great time to be a CG artist. There are more and more tools at your disposal and learning Renderman is a great way to make your work look amazing and who knows, to find a job at Pixar.
You can get Renderman here
I always like to remind people that as great as these pieces of software are, they remain tools for you to use. It’s the way you use them that always makes the difference.
Below is a small video that shows the Interactive Re-rendering inside Renderman.
Research. Eight letters that you haven’t thought about since your high school or college days. It is the very first step in creating your successful video tutorial. Researching adds a depth and value to your tutorial.
The unspoken secret.
The subject you want to teach is most likely already being taught! We are here to tell you- so what?! The way in which you process and teach concepts is pertinent and integral to your success! Everyone is an individual and learns uniquely. This is your opportunity to create and teach a tutorial the way it makes sense to you and to share the information that has helped you the most. By doing this, you are teaching others from your vantage point and thus delivering them into a teachable space others cannot. Use the power of your individuality to power others individual learning styles!
As many of you have undoubtedly heard by now, DreamWorks Animation made the decision to shutter PDI in Redwood City and make additional cuts at their Glendale studio. Beyond their many contributions to many of DreamWorks’ animated features, PDI was an early innovator in the world of commercially viable computer graphics. Their proprietary tools helped to launch what would become DreamWorks Animation’s fully realized CGI pipeline that drove most of their movies starting with the release of Antz in 1998. Despite PDI’s involvement with DreamWorks Animation’s past, it and many of its approximately 450 employees are not going to be part of DreamWorks’ future.
Our heartfelt sympathies go out to all of PDI’s and DreamWorks Animation’s former employees and their families affected by the cutbacks, but we at CGCircuit believe platitudes and sympathies are not enough. We understand that as part of the job search, sometimes rusty skills need to be honed, new career paths pursued and the generation of additional income is a necessity. To help with all of these aims, starting today, CGCircuit is providing all of the PDI/DreamWorks employees affected by its recent closure and downsizing the following discounts and benefits:
All video series are 50% off
Content creators for CGCircuit will receive an additional 15% for each video sold
Our staff will offer our decades of industry experience to provide demo reel and resume feedback
CGCircuit is made up of industry professionals and no matter how large the industry gets, it’s still small community and the seismic events at DreamWorks and PDI shake us all.
For more information on how you can get your PDI/DreamWorks benefits, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you continue your path to success.
At CGCircuit we love when industry professionals choose to publish on CGCircuit’s platform but our goal is not to sit back and let the authors sail solo. As a company we are author oriented! Providing support and inspiration is part of what makes CGCircuit unique.
Let us introduce you to the info-preneur!
“SAY WHAT?!” We know- what is an info-preneur? Well for one, it is a made up term by our very own Carlo Sansonetti. Lets start with an entrepreneur. Most are familiar with the term entrepreneur, they are someone who has a creative idea about a product or design and they are striving to get it produced. The difference between them and an info-preneur is that an info-preneur already has their product. The info-preneur’s product is their knowledge!
Andrew van Straten is a Creature TD with big league film credits such as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Adventures of Tintin. While working at Weta Digital he was responsible for research and development for the Creatures department, specifically in regard to physical based solutions to facial expressions. In his tutorial, Skinning with nCLoth, he covers how to build and solve nCloth muscles, fascia and skin. He also delivers ideas on how it might fit into a production pipeline. This tutorial, is best suited for someone who has experience with rigging in Maya or nCloth.
I created this tutorial because I think riggers are waking up to the vast potential of a solution for muscle and skin that is based on a physically based solver. I hope riggers will get another string to their bow as it were, and are able to apply the concepts in their own setups.
I do plan to make more tutorials, including a follow up to this one where I’ll build the shoulder as its a fairly complex part of the anatomy. I’d also like to do one on how to manage realistic combination shapes for facial animation.
Andrew van Straten
Creating this tutorial was important to Andrew because, “Riggers are waking up to the vast potential of solution(s) for muscle and skin that is based on a physical based solver.” Hopefully adding another “string to their bow” Andrew is wanting riggers to be able to apply the concepts in their own setups. Indepthly he adds, “Weta Digital use a proprietary physically based solver to generate solutions for organic tissue. This tutorial won’t replicate what happens in the creatures department, but it does employ some of the same thinking with the outcomes, i.e. using a solver to do the ‘heavy lifting’ as it were to generate complex shapes.” Looking forward Andrew plans to produce additional tutorials with subjects such as building the shoulder and managing realistic combination shapes for facial animation. For more on Andrew go to his LinkedIn Profile.
Can you introduce yourself and talk to us about your career so far?
My name is Leo Gonzalez, I was born in Colombia and raised in Miami. Officially I guess you could say I’m an environment artist or FX artist, but I don’t really see myself as either; I consider myself more of a technical artist or generalist. I’ve worked on character animation, rigging, photo real lighting and rendering, and a bunch of other stuff over the years. This was before I worked in the games industry. Being a CG artist in South Florida, most of my work revolved around visualizations for advertising, defense contractors, and commercial clients. There really isn’t much of a games industry in Miami; at least when I lived there. Hopefully that’s something that changes in the future, we’ll have to wait and see. I first got into 3D art when I started modding games back around 2003, but at the time I only did this for fun; it was just a hobby- the thought never even crossed my mind to do this as a career. For those who might not be familiar with modding, that’s when you take a commercial PC game and modify it by creating your own content, like maps, weapons, characters, etc. Around that time I was actually going to community college, majoring in criminal justice- yeah, that’s right, you heard correctly (chuckle).
Today at CGCircuit we are excited to share with you our newest feature that gives users a way to embed free tutorials on external websites! Say that you are browsing through CGCircuit and see a free tutorial, you now will be able to post it on your blog or own website using the new icon on the top right corner of the video player. This feature is useful for personal promotion and bloggers. Here at CGCircuit, we are proud of our player and its features.
– Our player lives in its own window, allowing you to practice as you watch and learn
– The drop down menu gives quick access to the entire structure of the course and also provides the ability to skip to specific videos. This is extra valuable when courses have multiple chapters and videos
With this new embed feature, sharing your work and CG love is a breeze. You take those effective features and ease with you when you embed our player in another web page!
Thanks for reading our blog post and being a part of the CGCircuit community! One of our favorite things is getting e-mails and comments. All of the user communication allows us to implement new features and improve existing ones. That said, we would love it if you would comment below and share your thoughts.
Until next time, Happy Learning and Happy Teaching!
Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit of your career?
Hi, I’m Gary Myers and I’m an animator. I currently work as the Animation lead at Heavy Iron Studios and before that I was involved with 2D animation at Walt Disney Feature Animation (now Disney Animation Studios) and before that I had a short stint in TV animation. So I’ve worked on a few features, a few games, and a tv show over that time. I’ve been in it professionally for about 19-20 years now.
I recently finished rigging a mech character named Hatch. Hatch is the latest of the Animation Mentor Rigs that will be used by student attending Animation Mentor classes. This beautiful design and model used was created by ILM’s digital artist Landis Fields.
Get access to animate Hatch when you enroll in Animation Mentor’s Creature Animation Workshops! Learn more about what you’ll learn in Creature Animation: Fight or Flight and get information on how to register.
The final rig is extremely complex. My tutorial takes students through the intensive process of rigging each component of Hatch. The rig features multi-IK limb setup, rolling scapulae as well as scripting parts of the rig in order to make the rig more stable and “production-ready”.
As with all of my tutorials, I try to also convey not just the how but the why. With a character like this one we will apply virtually all Rigging concepts.
I always loved to rig mechanical rigs because they test your rigging skills. For this reason above all, I thought it was a great idea to create a tutorial on this subject.