Posted In:Behind The Scenes Archives | Greyscalegorilla
Family-owned studio, The Other House, explains their work on the brand refresh for the fourteenth season of The Voice.
Working with loved ones is often ill-advised, but that’s not the case with The Other House. Founded in 2011 by brothers Chris and Steve Roth and their wives, Amber and Lara, the Portland, Oregon-based boutique motion/production studio embraces its identity as a family-owned business that also includes a tight-knit group of talented friends.
Among the award-winning studio’s latest projects was a complete brand refresh for season 14 of NBC’s The Voice. Here Chris Roth, The Other House’s Executive Director and Principal Animator, explains the origin of his small yet well-connected studio and talks about how they used Cinema 4D, After Effects and Octane to infuse The Voice’s iconic look with a whole lot of orange-hued energy. Read More
Transitioning into a freelance or remote work-from-home position? This is a guide to surviving and thriving in a home office.
Multiple times in my career, I’ve worked from home. After many mistakes over the years, I finally figured out how to get work done and still live a normal life. I put together this list of to-do’s and not to-do’s based on my experience, while debunking many of the other work from home articles I’ve read.
As someone having worked in the creative industry for over a decade, I’ve worked in every type of environment. I have worked on set, lived the cubicle life (driving a beige sedan, ugh), worked in an open-plan office, inside a theater tech booth, and now I am in my element, working remotely from home.
If you have the fortune to transfer into a full-time freelance career or remote position, there are upsides and downsides. I’m going to offer some advice and tips I’ve learned on working from home. Read More
See how this surprising piece for VELCRO® Brand had the entire design community enthralled with its beauty and technical wizardry.
Designers Lukas Vojir and Alexa Sirbu recently released their latest collaboration, a stunning piece created on hook and loop technology.
The video was quickly shared among design circles, not only for the video’s beautiful renders, but also its technical achievements. How did they get that shot? It was a question I kept asking myself, so I reached out to Lukas and Alexa to learn more.
Here’s what I learned in our conversation. Read More
Discover the creative process behind Mike Judge’s Tales from the Tour Bus title sequence from storyboard to completion.
Penelope Nederlander is a two-time Emmy-nominated art director and digital artist. She’s been using Cinema 4D for 16 years, and has worked freelance, as a creative director, and now works at Austin-based Rooster Teeth.
In addition to her animation and motion design work, Nederlander has worked in VFX departments for films like Iron Man, The Aviator, and Superman Returns, as well as music videos for Dolly Parton and The Killers. She also worked on the stereoscopic version of the MGM lion logo.
She has frequently collaborated with L.A. studio Shine on several main title sequences for films and shows like Kung Fu Panda, Pitch Perfect, and more. In this presentation, she will go behind her work on the main titles for Mike Judge’s Cinemax show, Tales from the Tour Bus.
Revisit the world of Akira in this must-see short. Plus breakdown the entire process with hours of behind-the-scenes videos.
The tribute was a collaborative project that took over a year to create. For those wanting more, there is so much more content.
The Akira Awaken website not only includes the jaw-dropping renders and comparisons to original stills, but also hours of behind-the-scenes breakdowns.
Watch as the team shows you what went into creating each shot from the short. They’ll show you their sketches, as well as Cinema 4D and After Effects project files.
The guys tell you all about their challenges creating certain scenes, and having to turn to online tutorials and Wikipedia articles to help them learn.
Here’s a look at the first breakdown. There are a total of 26! Watch all of the videos on the Process section of the Akira Awaken site.
There are also some on set photos and a breakdown of the team shooting organic fluids for the project.
(If you are interested in playing with and compositing these type of fluid elements, I had the pleasure of making some free fluid elements with the team over at RocketStock. You can go download 19 free 4K fluids in their Nebula pack.)
- Tribute by – Ash Thorp & Zaoeyo
- Score by – Pilot Priest
- Character Modeler – Raf Grassetti
- Photography – The Joelsons
- Website by – Oblio
- Special Thanks –
Be sure to head over to the Akira Awaken website for all the in-depth videos.
If you are interested in more like this, check out our interview with Ash Thorp, in which he showed us how he created a cyberpunk western for Nike.
SHARING YOUR PROCESS
I believe sharing your process is one of the most important things you can do as an artist. Giving away your secrets and techniques will propel your own work forward at a rapid pace. Doing this will make you want to push yourself to come up with new techniques and not become repetitive or do what everyone else is able to do. Sharing your process for how you create your work will help our industry grow. In addition to this other artists will look to you for your expertise and you will stand out in the industry. What more could you ask for!
I am very proud to post Motionographers Step by Step: Locked And Loading article. Motionographers new “Step by Step” series take us through the artist’s process in real time while they create their work. It is a fantastic educational tool that really shows us inside the mind and process of the artist while they are creating.
I was extremely excited when they approached me to be this month’s artist on Motionographer and leaped at the opportunity. The most recent series I have been creating has easily been the most tutorial requested series of mine and I thought this would be a great way of sharing with everyone my entire process. I show you step by step how I created “The Buoy” animation.
Want to check out the tools I used? Take a look at the links below!
Maxon Cinema 4D
GSG HDRI Studio
GSG HDRI Link (Coming Soon)
Adobe After Effects
During my process I also show how I use Greyscalegorilla tools including HDRI Studio, Signal as well as the upcoming HDRI Link in creating my animation. These 3 tools have become must have tools for me as I have used them in almost every project over the past year. I hope you all enjoy and learn from my process!
We want to make a special thanks to Motionographer for creating another tool for artists to learn from and reaching out to Greyscalegorilla!
Half Rez 5 was a blast and we couldn’t do it without the help of lots of talented people. This year LooseKeys created a new set of animations for us and knocked it out of the park!
We at Greyscalegorilla know the people over at LooseKeys well since we shared an office space with them for years. Now’s your chance to get to know them as well! We sent them some questions so you can get a taste for who they are and the work they do!
What is Loosekeys and how long have you been around?
Brad Chmielewski – LooseKeys is a design and animation studio in Chicago. We’ve been around for about 5 years now. A lot of the work we do involves character animation and storytelling.
What did you learn while making these animations?
Jake Williams – What was great about making the Half Rez animations was feeling like a newbie again with a new creative tool. While Cinema 4D was daunting at first, the amount of community resources available was integral and helping us learn on the fly. As we got more comfortable with the software, we were able to apply our style and animation principles with a totally new tool.
Ethan Barnowsky – This would be an appropriate place to thank Nick, Chris, and EJ because I spent a LOT of time in their tutorials learning techniques and tips for this project. It’s easy to take that resource for granted, but I would be miserable without their help! So, thanks!
How did you guys decide the content of each video?
BC – With most projects, we sit down and brainstorm concepts as a team. From there we’ll typically go and explore some concepts or at least pull some references for what the videos could be.
JW – We knew that we wanted to have a flow to the spots; that together they would tell a sort of story with the characters. We brainstormed a good number of ideas to get us started and then boiled it down to the 3-4 that we realistically thought we could accomplish before the show. The dance party, cheers, and drunky spots were the original 3 spots and the drone guy was added when we realized we could squeeze in one more.
Normally Loosekeys has a 2D workflow. What made you guys decide to try some 3D for these?
BC – Since HalfRez is an event centered around 3D animation we felt that we needed to make something that all the 3D animators in the room would enjoy while still staying true to our style. We could have easily done something in 2D but then we really wouldn’t have pushed ourselves to do something that challenged us.
JW – Echoing what Brad already mentioned, we wanted to push ourselves with this project. Really there was no better time to finally try to get our bearings in a 3D software package than this very project.
EB – I asked myself that question a lot while I banged my head against the keyboard trying to learn more 3D but in the end I’m super happy I had this as an opportunity to learn and create something new in C4D. I’m really thankful. Turns out it’s super fun.
Any inspirations feed into the animations?
BC – I know one thing that came up early on was the “Dumb Ways To Die” video.
JW – We looked at a ton of reference centered around TV idents and bumpers. There’s such a great timing and pacing in the stories that are told in quick 10-15 second spots that we wanted to capture. One of my favorite early references were these Adult Swim Idents from Art&Graft.
EB – We also looked at the Half Rez logo and branding and previous years bumpers and wanted to play off of those elements a bit. Love cubes and bubbles.
How was the crowd reactions to the animations both online and at Half Rez?
BC – From what I could tell it seemed that most people really enjoyed them. It’s sometimes hard to tell since I personally know so many people in the community, you never know if they are just being nice. What I think worked for us was that we took our character animation skills and storytelling ability and applied them to 3D. The 3D was very simple and I’m sure many people out there would have no trouble recreating these spots. What’s sometimes troublesome about 3D animation is that the possibilities are endless. What we do well at LooseKeys is to take something that’s complicated and make it simple. I felt like the reaction was great, we did something a bit different for us at LooseKeys and although they were cubes, it was a bit outside the box.
JW – The live crowd seemed to enjoy the spots although I wish I had made the “dance party” spot a bit longer to see if people would have jumped out of their seats! From friends and acquaintances alike I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback and it’s incredibly humbling to get this sort of response from guys and gals whose opinion and work I respect so much.
Loosekeys and Greyscalegorilla used to share office space. How’s your new place and what has changed?
BC – We do miss the Greyscalegorilla guys. Having more energy in the office is always nice to keep your creative juices flowing. For us it was time to make a move in order to feel more like the studio we wanted to be. You don’t need your own space in order to be a studio. Still there is something about having your own space that feels comfortable and helps set the tone for your workday. Having your own studio makes you want to invite clients over and show off with parties. We have now been in the space for a year and there is plenty of room for us to grow and try new things.
EB – It’s quieter without the ping pong, pinball and excited chatter which is occasionally good but mainly I miss those aspects! It took a long time to adjust to the lack of lunchtime ping pong noises coming from the other room. Like Brad said, it’s nice to have a space to call our own where we can have parties and create without getting in anybody else’s way.
Best way to follow your work as a fan? Best way to contact you as a client?
BC – I try to keep all of our social media channels updated with what we are working on. Twitter is a great place to start if you want a catch all for everything we are doing.
And for any clients who are looking to get in touch, I would be the best person to talk to about new business firstname.lastname@example.org
You guys are the most prolific podcasters I know. How many podcasts are the members of Loosekeys involved in these days?
BC – Thanks! I love the medium. At the moment I have 4 podcasts that I release new episodes for pretty regularly. There are a few that come on and off and some others that have ended but there are 4 that I focus my time and energy on. Shatter The Vain, a podcast with over 120 episodes about the mobile game Vainglory. This podcast is released every Monday. Released every Tuesday is Toon Talk Weekly, a podcast where Jake Williams and I talk about a new cartoon each and every week. Then there is Chicago Beer Pass with 160 episodes. Chicago Beer Pass is a weekly podcast about beer events in the Chicagoland area and Illinois. And then my video podcast is Hop Cast. This podcast isn’t recorded as often and doesn’t have a real schedule anymore but it is the longest running podcast. Ken Hunnemeder and I have been talking about beer for eight years and recorded over 285 episodes of this show.
I love the idea of podcasting, you’re able to take something you’re passionate about and share that love with the world. Each show I do has a different fan base but it doesn’t matter if one person is listening or thousands. Just the idea that someone cares about something as much as you do is enough. Podcasting is a form of storytelling and using the medium to help perfect that skill set is very important for me and the business.
JW – Special shoutout to Chris for being on Toon Talk Weekly Episode 86 to talk about his love for ReBoot!
Who are some artists / websites you admire?
JW – I’d be lying if I didn’t say I check Dribbble and Vimeo daily to see what talented folks are working on. I love simple, clean, and clever character design and animation and there is a ton of great work out there. A few favorites:
Ice Cream Hater
EB – All of those artists Jake mentioned are amazing. I also tend to lean towards bold, simple, sometimes crude illustration styles and love artists like:
Everyone in the Late Night Work Club
Follow the LooseKeys guys on twitter
Music provided by Art List
Thanks to everyone for making another season of AskGSG amazing. Without your questions the show could not exist! Season two had 39 episodes, over 79 hours of Q&A and lots of great guests.
Season Three Starts October 12th!
We’re gearing up for season two beginning on Wednesday the 12th of October at 1PM CST. Mark your calendar, get those questions ready and be sure to subscribe to us on Twitch and follow out newsletter to never miss a show. We have so much more in store including special guests and special tutorials only for people who watch live. See you then!
Missed Season 1 and 2 of AskGSG?
We got you covered. We just released Seasons 1 and 2 of Ask GSG Archive for purchase on our new GSG Training site. Over 150 hours of Recordings are now available for you to watch at any time on any device.
Get The Bundle
Want to get all 3 seasons of askGSG? We created a bundle price so you can get all 3 seasons at once. Get everything from Seasons 1, 2 and the upcoming 3rd season all for $229. That includes all the 200+ scene files from every episode of AskGSG and new recordings every week from the upcoming season.
Visit our new training site and start watching TONS more C4D recordings today!
Of course, anyone and everyone can watch AskGSG LIVE for free every Wednesday starting next week! As always, get your C4D questions ready and we will see you LIVE for the first episode of AskGSG Season 3 Live on Twitch.
Half Rez 2016 is almost here and this will be the biggest one yet. Over 300 of you have signed up to come to the largest Motion Design conference in the midwest.
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors and others that have helped make Half Rez happen this year.
We can’t wait to see you next week!!!
Simply put, our amazing sponsors make this event what it is. Please join me and thank them for helping make this event happen.
Half Rez Titles From Loosekeys
Thanks to Loosekeys for animating the Half Rez Titles this year.
Half Rez Speakers
We have an incredible line up of presentations planned for this year.
Chad Ashley: The State of 3D Rendering
3D and Motion Design has come a long way. Let’s celebrate our past and see what things we should take to the future and what things we leave behind.
Chris Schmidt: Cinema 4D Tutorial
This presentation will remain a secret until the night of the show. But if you have seen Chris’ presentations in the past, you know that you don’t want to miss this one.
Run Kick Shout: From Freelance to Starting a Studio
Nick Hopkins and Erik Jensen of Run, Kick, Shout! share their experiences as full-time and freelance artists, and the their path to opening a studio earlier this year. It’s gonna be a grab bag of do’s, don’t’s from two non-business types who are in the thick of it. Hold on to your butts, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
We are so excited to sit down and have a Q&A with the daily render master himself. Have a question for Beeple you want asked? Tweet us at @GSG3D and include #halfrez in the tweet.
So, what are you waiting for? Get your butt to Chicago and Sign Up For Half Rez Here.
Videos From Past Half Rez Events
Made a timelapse for my most recent render on our daily renders Instagram page.
Music: Jai Paul Demo Track 2
See all the GSG daily renders on our Instagram page.
Thanks for agreeing to do an interview with us. We saw your beautiful work and thought it would be cool to ask you a few questions about your process.
Thank you so much for having me. I’ve been following your work for many years and your tutorials helped me a great deal getting into Cinema4D. It’s a huge honor to get interviewed by Greyscalegorilla.
First, what is your name and where do you work?
My name is Mario Tran Phuc. I’m currently working for Insydium (the creators of X-Particles) as VFX Designer, Art Director & Technical Support.
What got you into 3D and Cinema 4D when you first got started?
I got into 3D during my studies about 8 years ago. My buddies and I made a ten minute short film using Maya which was a great start into 3D animation. I then worked at Pixomondo for 7 years as an Art Director / Project Lead working on projects for advertising, live events as well as working on feature films. Adobe After Effects was my go-to tool for many years, but with the rising demand of 3D visuals in Motion Design and impressive Mograph demonstrations by my great workmates, I finally decided to dive back into 3D again. I chose Cinema4D, because of its amazing modules and its seamless connection to After Effects. Actually, over the last few years it increasingly became my tool of choice for nearly every kind of design work.
Your X-particles work is so beautiful. What got you into X-Particles originally?
Thanks a lot! About 1.5 years ago, I opened up X-Particles for the first time, because we needed particles in the VFX department and I was totally sucked into it. First I started out with a little program called ‘Particle Illusion’ and later on ‘Trapcode Particular’ for After Effects and eversince I have been using particles on pretty much every project so far.
Finally, X-Particles allowed me to achieve all the difficult things that were out of my reach before, e.g. accurate collisions or particle emission based on 3D geometry. Due to its wide toolset of particle modifiers and the unique Questions&Actions system it suddenly opened up almost endless possibilities for a digital artist like me. So while I got dragged into learning XP I started doing personal artwork & experiments in my spare time. I still thoroughly enjoy exploring visual effects and expressing my creativity with X-Particle.
What is your favorite “Go To” modifier in X-Particles?
Definitely the xpTurbulence. It is one of my favorite modifiers to begin a setup as it quickly adds a nice random motion to the particle flow and therefore realism. It works beautifully with other modifiers like xpGravity or xpAttractor and it can be restricted to the XYZ-axis seperately, which gives you a lot of control, especially using multiple turbulences. I really adore many other modifiers as well, for example the xpConstraints, xpChangeGroup or xpSpawn, because of their high viability within the X-Particles system.
What is your favorite feature in X-Particles 3.5?
I really like the new xpParticleFalloff. It basically converts your particles into spherical falloffs, that can be used within every modifier of XP and any C4D object with a falloff tab. My favorite use of it is driving a xpChangeGroup modifier. You can just assign all the modifiers you need to the new xpGroup and they start triggering once the falloffs come into reach. It opens up countless possibilities! I highly recommend checking it out.
As part of an ongoing artwork series for Insydium this rendering was an example of using the xpGenerator and the fluid dynamics of the xpDomain. From my experience the xpDomain achieves the best results by emitting particles out of a thin source to capture the forces nicely – in this case a spline-circle. After linking the particle colors to their speed, I cached the simulation and made multiple copies of it to fill the view (the ‘Copy Tag Data’ needs to be checked to copy cached emitters). This way I didn’t need to simulate them again at a larger scale.
To render the particles as custom shapes I used the xpGenerator, which is perfect for transfering attributes like facing direction, size and colors from the source emitter onto custom geometry. In order to get particle colors and glossiness at the same time, I actually rendered the picture twice (with and without a reflective material applied) to achieve this look in compositing later on.
The way to achieve this kind of traditional painting style is to use particle emitters to generate trails just like paint brushes. For that I keyframed the scale and strength of multiple xpTurbulences to shape the wavy form. After doing some variations I converted the xpTrails into splines and rearranged them to get a volumetric feel.
The coloring was done with the xpMaterial as you can apply the xpMaterial to xpTrails since the release of XParticles 3. Simply activate the age parameter beneath the color properties to enable the color-gradient for your xpTrails. This works even after converting the xpTrails and therefore on any kind of spline within Cinema4D.
We loved your Noise Palettes renders. How did that idea come about?
I came up with the idea of the Noise Palettes while I was testing different kinds of noises within the Displacement Deformer. I was totally surprised how appealing they looked in 3D space and couldn’t stop experimenting with the different types and attributes. At this moment it was when I came up with the idea to bring them together as a visual reference. It can be quite hard to judge the 2D thumbnails from the Material Editor and therefore to predict how one of them leads to the texture you are trying to achieve.
So I created a “printing plate” for every single noise by applying multiple Displacement Deformers to subdivided planes and adjusted each noise to look the most appealing while trying to keep the overall noise-scale in balance at the same time. In order to achieve the sculptural look I applied a Subsurface Scattering Material and positioned lights of different colors at opposing positions to shine through the geometry. The rendering was done with the Physical Render with a bit of color correction using After Effects.
Is there any advice to someone just starting out that wants to make great looking 3D renders?
Well, I think a good start is to study the artworks you personally adore the most. You can learn a lot by analyzing their composition, framing and contrasts in color and shape. I love those pictures where you feel like you can literally dive into, if you know what I mean. I try to give my renderings as much depth as possible by adding equal amount of detail into fore-, middle and background.
Once you have set up enough elements in space, which can be complex forms as well as simple shapes like particles, the “Rule of Thirds” helps a lot to balance out a composition. Apply it on the part that looks the most appealing to you. You can achieve a lot of depth by using warm colors with high contrast in the foreground and cool colors with less contrast in the background. It really helps to zoom out of the picture from time to time to check if the composition is working overall.
I can highly recommend to join the wonderful Cinema4D community as well, either online via platforms like Twitter and Motion Design Slack or onsite at Maxon user-meetings and conferences. You can find me at this year’s NAB in Las Vegas demoing X-Particles 3.5 for Insydium at the Maxon Partner Booth. I hope to see some of you there and chat with you in person.
Rob Garrott of lynda.com interviews Nick about his inspiration to start Greyscalegorilla.com. An in depth look at his background, how he got his start and how that morphed into what Greyscalegorilla is today.
Garrott also interviews other industry professionals in this course. Here is a summary of the series:
Rob Garrott, lynda.com’s video content manager, got the chance to sit down with nine influential artists to talk about their work, their inspirations, their tools, and the industry as a whole. The series kicks off with a conversation with Kris Pearn, storyboard artist for Sony Animation, and one of the people “drawing the movement” behind movies like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. We also include interviews with the following industry pros:
- Nick Campbell, motion graphics artist, photographer, and entrepreneur
- Marc Potocnik, designer and 3d artist
- Tim Clapham, VFX artist and educator
- Alan Torres and Stephen Morton (Cantina Creative), design and visual effects artists
- Aaron Limonick, concept artist
- Mike Lowes, 3D animator and technical director
- Lorcan O’Shanahan, motion graphics artist
- Scott Keating, 3D artist and illustrator
- Clear Menser, visual effects artist
- John Robson, motion graphics artist and filmmaker
- Grant Miller, VFX supervisor
- Tomasz Opasinski, creative director and movie poster artist
A special thanks to Lynda and Rob Garrott for the interview.