CGI Podcast

In 2017 I created The CGI podcast. Some of today’s best 3D artists and designers shared their stories and experiences to help guide the next generation of digital creatives. 

The Idea

In 2017 I created a podcast to scratch an itch I’d had for years. (sorry, the website doesn’t exist any longer) The CGI podcast allowed me to connect with some of today’s best 3D artists and designers and have a casual conversation. The goal was to create hours of educational and entertaining content and make it accessible to anyone for free. While the first season was short, it accomplished the goal. I hope to return with Season 2. Someday. – Subscribe on iTunes

0 - Introduction

Hello, and welcome to the first episode of the CGI Podcast. I’d like to thank you for checking it out and properly introduce the show and briefly introduce myself so you know who you’re listening to and what to expect with this show.

1 - Jort van Welbergen - Creating Opportunities

Our first episode features an interview with freelance concept designer Jort van Welbergen. Over the past few years, he’s worked with companies such as Guerilla Games and Foundry42 designing 3D environments, props and vehicles. Jort has contributed to games such as Killzone: Shadowfall, Horizon Zero Dawn and Star Citizen. Outside of work, he’s been active in the entertainment industry both speaking at and helping organize conference events.

During our chat, I ask Jort about some of his previous work and dive deep into the process behind an impressive, massive space station he designed while finishing game design school. Jort shares how he lets science and physics solve his design problems to both elevate the realism as well as lead him to an appropriate solution. We discuss how making opportunities for yourself can speed along your career and path to success as well as books and other educational resources Jort himself recommends.

2 - Chris Rosewarne - Pivoting to Concept Artist

During this episode with Concept Artist Chris Rosewarne, we discuss his path into the film industry. He wasn’t always a concept artist with a cinematic eye. Chris shares how he became exposed to concept art and how he pursued it in his own career. 

This is episode two with Chris Rosewarne. Chris is an Emmy-nominated concept artist working in the film industry. Over the past fourteen years he’s worked on titles such as Star Wars Episode 8, Max Payne, Spectre, Age of Ultron, Exodus, Gaurdians of the Galaxy, Die Hard and Skyfall. When he’s not designing key-frames, modeling robots and creating online tutorials, he likes to push himself at the crossfit box. I discovered and first connected with Chris a couple of years ago though Instagram, but had seen and appreciated his work well before then. Now, we get to chat and learn more about Chris and the work he produces!

3 - Esben Oxholm - Turning a Hobby Into a Business

Esben and I discuss the steps he took to turn an interest into a successful business. We cover how he created a plan before becoming a full-time freelancer, why he has a content publishing schedule and how he finds customers! You don’t want to miss this one.  

This is episode three with CG Artist Esben Oxholm. As a skilled freelancer, he offers premium services such as 3D modeling, rendering, animation and retouching for those who want top-notch presentations. He uses his background of lighting design and engineering to augment his design and rendering services to create stunning visuals. Esben is very active in the online community offering a large collection of educational material. In a short period of time, he’s gained the respect of many within the CG community as well as building a brand and freelance business.

4 - Kirill Chepizhko - The Importance of Visibility

Kirill and I discuss his journey from Russia to the U.S. to experience U.S. culture and the English Language. After dabbling in painting, Kirill discovered ZBrush, a 3D sculpting software. Kirill learned how to use the program from a friend of his and has never looked back. Fast forward just less than a decade, and Kirill has had the opportunity to contribute to Films such as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Kong: Skull Island as well as triple A game titles such as Lawbreakers.
 
Kirill uses a programs such as Fusion 360, ZBrush and Maya to create 3D Concepts for the entertainment industry. Kirill shares why he uses these specific tools and how each affects the way he contributes to films and video games. We also discuss the differences between the role of a Concept Designer and a Production or 3D Artist as it relates to the entertainment industry. Additionally, Kirill shares tips for how to get started using ZBrush and Fusion 360 and how he became comfortable with these programs. And if that all wasn’t enough, we discuss the value of using a Computer-Aided-Design process to create concepts. 

5 - Igor Sobolevsky - Why You Need a Side Hustle

Igor Sobolevsky is a Ukranian-born, U.S.-based Product and Concept Designer who creates beautifully realistic Sci-Fi visuals. What’s interesting, is he works full-time as a product designer and creates his concept work in his spare time. He’s published tutorials for 3D Artist Magazine and helped design a drone in the aerial robotics field. Igor’s concept work is intricate, moody and seductive while remaining grounded in reality.
 
During this episode, Igor shares his academic journey and how hist two seemingly different degrees compliment each other and his 3D concept work well. We discuss the aspect of having a side-hustle, or pursuing creative endeavors outside of maintaining a full-time day job. Igor shares the benefits, challenges and opportunities he’s been presented by having a strong side hustle. So, if you’ve been waiting to pursue your creative dreams because you work a full-time job, this episode is most definitely for you!

6 - David Schultz - How to Become an Environment Artist

This is episode 6 with Sr. Environment Artist David Schultz. In this jam-packed episode, I pick David’s brain on what advice he would give to an aspiring Game Artist. David breaks down a bunch of actionable steps you can start working on today. Additionally, we discuss some of the intricacies of creating game-ready assets as well as touching on the future of gaming holds. 

David Schultz is a Sr. Environment Artist currently working at Red Storm Entertainment in the video game industry. As an Environment artist, he brings to life the worlds we have grown to love. While creating props and environments, David uses a diverse tool set to create diverse work. Over the past nine years, he’s worked on titles such as Eat Lead, Earth Defense Force, The Secret World and Tom Clancy’s The Division.

7 - Vaughan Ling - Becoming Diversitile

In this episode, I speak with Vaughn Ling, who’s work is as varied as the number of mis-matched socks in my dresser. He’s an accomplished sketcher, painter, modeler, renderer, designer, teacher, 3D printer and DIY-er. We discuss tons of topics such as the importance of fundamentals in art education and sharing your work. We take a look at some of the most notable projects Vaughan has been involved in throughout his career. Vaughan even answers some questions submitted by you guys, the listeners! This one’s fun!

Vaughan Ling is an LA-based concept designer who creates work under the pseudonym HEAVYPOLY. When I think of Vaughan, two words come to mind, prolific and diversitile. Yes, I actually had to create a new word to describe the uniqueness and variety of his skills and design work. Vaughan historically taught at the Concept Design Academy and Vaughan’s clients include Disney, Mattel, Marvel, Honda, Trek Bicycles, Warner Animation Group and many, many more.

8 - Edon Guraziu - Living Life on Your Terms

Edon Guraziu is a Concept Designer based in the Netherlands. He’s done work for 20th Century Fox, NVIDIA, MPC and many more. Edon specializes in designing firearms, robotics and products for the film and games industry. His work offers a glimpse into a dark, moody, sci-fi future, full of functionally-aesthetic designs.

During this episode, Edon reflects on the decisions he’s made and how they’ve impacted his personal life and professional career. His all-in approach to design and pursuing his dream is both inspiring and revealing of his success. At only 20 years old, Edon has barely scratched the surface, despite contributing to multiple films, video games and products in real life. His work has inspired and influenced the concept design world, and he’s only just begun!

 

9 - Darren Bacon - Into the Concept Department

Darren Bacon is a Lead Concept Artist at 343 Industries, a division of Microsoft, which is responsible for the Halo franchise. Before joining Microsoft, he worked on games, films and animations at companies such as Bungie, Disney and Electronic Arts. Darren’s work features mostly sci-fi vehicles and environments that exhibit hints of retro-futurism and an understanding of traditional industrial design. The measured approach he brings to his design work brings it to life and breathes realism into each concept.

From Scott Robertson to Sparth, Darren Bacon has worked with numerous entertainment industry legends and his art shows that. Darren shares how his childhood dreams of being a car designer pointed him in the right direction. Then there was that time he and a friend piled into a car and moved down to SoCal on a whim to change directions half-way through college. We discuss topics such as analog vs. digital mediums and Darren’s YouTube channel where he shows you how to bring your own concepts to life.

10 - Mathew Borrett - A World of Pure Imagination

Mathew Borrett is an Toronto-based Illustrator and VFX Environment Artist who’s known for his incredibly detailed, ultra-high-res images of cityscapes in various states of decay. Matthew uses MODO to help him create these intricate images that have a surreal, illustrative feel. However, their detailed complexity offers layers of interest when viewed at different distances. Mathew has worked as a matte painter and 3D modeler for both the film and TV industry and contributed to titles such as Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Resident Evil Afterlife, The Three Musketeers and others.

Wait... Where's Season 2?

So, we’re all busy. I wrapped Season 1 of the CGI Podcast and thoroughly enjoyed it, but needed a break. Then, work and life got busy. Too busy to podcast. I’ve wanted to continue this show, but sincerely haven’t had time. If you’d like me to produce a second season, please drop me a message below along with any suggestions, requests or feedback. 

And to those who participated and agreed to be guests on the show, thanks a ton! Simply sharing your experiences can leave a lasting impression on a listener. Thanks for giving back to such a great community of creatives.