Posted In:Inspiration | Page 2 of 12 | Greyscalegorilla
Rick Lundskow aka @lundskow
We’d like to welcome Daily Render Guest Artist Rick Lundskow @lundskow to our ongoing series of awesomeness.
What is your name, position, and where do you currently work?
How did you get into Cinema 4D?
I’m almost positive I saw a motion graphics video on vimeo back in 2010/2011. It was so impactful that I wanted to learn how to create art like it. I immediately downloaded the trial version and started watching Greyscalegorilla tutorials. After the trial expired I used the demo version. The demo wouldn’t let you save or render out projects, which was a slight bummer because some of the pieces were sweet. However, I could recreate them if I really wanted them.
Once I moved to Michigan to work at Cornerstone, I budgeted for Cinema 4d Studio. That’s when the real fun began.
When did you start your daily render practice?
I tried to start daily renders but they took too much time or I ran out of ideas too quickly. I got in my head too much… Each piece had to be amazing, but often times they were not great by any stretch of the imagination.
At Half Rez this past year I had a chance to talk to Beeple, the master of daily renders. He really encouraged me that it wasn’t as big of a deal as I was making it out to be. I just needed to make something happen. I don’t know what it was, but it clicked in my brain and I started the next day, September 15th.
What is the hardest part about doing a daily render?
Time would probably be the most difficult part of a daily render for me. Some nights I don’t get home until 10pm-12am and I haven’t even started on my project. The worst is when I get home late and I don’t even have a concept. On those nights, I wanted to give up. And there were many of those nights. However I’m sure other people have had that same exact excuse but have continued anyway. So I told myself that I couldn’t have any excuses for missing a day.
What have you learned by making something every day?
Probably the most significant thing I’ve learned is lighting and reflections. Lighting can make or break your render, so I experimented with different techniques until I found something that works for me. Since I don’t have a fancy render (which might change very soon), I wanted to learn the most with the tools that I had on hand.
As far a basic life skills go, I learned that I can put too much pressure on the creativity. I want the design to be better than the day before it, or create a compelling piece that will sell to millions of people. The former is stressful and the latter hasn’t happened yet. Daily renders are more like experiments. No pressure on the outcome. You try an idea that doesn’t work, but you fix those mistakes the next day and publish your findings. It’s important for me to realize that when I fail, I just found another way of not doing something.
What Hardware and Software do you use to make your work?
I do most of my work on a 2012 MacBook Pro. Nothing too fancy about it but it gets the job done. If I stay late at work, or have some free time over lunch, I’ll create piece on my Mac Pro with 12GB of ram. Then render it out using Team Render across 3-4 of the other machines in the office.
Aside from using Cinema, I use Illustrator a lot to create splines. The shape builder inside Illustrator is incredibly powerful for making custom shapes for lathes, sweeps, and extrudes. I recently purchased ZBrush core. While Cinema’s sculpting tools are great, there were a few features about ZBrush that made it easier to sculpt heads.
What is your day to day like at work?
My work schedule changes on a daily basis. I tend to have a theme to each week day though. Mondays are meeting days. A nice easy transition into the work week. Tuesdays are typically my big project day. I can get the most done without a ton of distractions. Wednesdays are a big filming day. We do video announcements in our Sunday services and we record & edit them mid-week. Thursdays are the busiest days because we’re trying to finish the work week strong. So I’ll finish projects that I didn’t quite complete the other work days. Coffee is a requirement for Thursdays. The great thing about my job is that I don’t work Fridays. Actually, I don’t think I’ve had a job in the past 10 years that required me to work Fridays. It’s pretty amazing.
Anything advice to anyone out there just getting started?
Great art isn’t about having the best resources, it’s about using what you have. There’s something special about taking what little resources you do have to create something beautiful. It gives you an appreciation for the things around you. When you hit a roadblock, figure a way around it. Don’t let circumstances hold you back from accomplishing what you want to do.
Also, don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. Start with a 5 minute idea and work from there. Most of my projects come from a small element I see in my day to day world. Find something that inspires you and run with that idea.
Where can people learn more about you?
I’m currently rebuilding my website from scratch, so currently I don’t have more info available.
Happy 2016! It’s that time of year again. Time to think about what we want to accomplish and what we want to learn in the new year.
Like you, we are constantly learning and growing to push our abilities beyond where they currently are. There is no resting. Being Human is about growing.
Let’s Learn And Grow Together
We have always encouraged others to start their own daily render project to help learn faster and to give a deadline to push against to make great work. It’s time we take our own advice.
That’s why are starting our own daily render project on our new Greyscalegorilla Daily Render page.
Why are we starting our own daily render?
- To encourage more play time and experimentation in C4D.
- To expand and grow our visual language and design skills.
- To have an excuse to do more live shows. Look for a live show soon that is all about watching how some of our daily renders are made.
- To show off our incredible artists here at Greyscalegorilla.
- To show off what Cinema 4D and GSG tools are capable of.
Everyone Is At Their Own Level Of Learning
Listen, we aren’t experts or Gurus. Trust me. We are only trying to get better just like you. We are all at our own different levels of learning. We should all try something new every day and experiment with Cinema 4D and new plugins to see what is possible. As we do, we will be sharing our process.
So, will you join us? Will you commit to your own render per day? Set up some deadlines and let’s grow together in 2016. Drop a message in the comments if you commit to a daily render project with us. I would love to see everyone’s work.
Follow us on one of these sites to see our new render get posted every day.
Here is to a productive and educational new year!
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.
Beeple has been posting his creative work every day for over 3000 days straight. If that wasn’t enough, he recently posted ZERO-DAY, the most recent animation in his “instrumental video” series.
We asked him a few questions about his process for ZERO-DAY and about how in the heck he continues to stay so prolific?
Thanks for answering some questions about your new project, Mike. You seem like such a motivated and hard working guy. What keeps you going with all these great projects?
Hahaha, honestly I really don’t feel like that. I feel like it’s a constant struggle to stay focused and productive each day. Damn you interwebz and your engaging content!! 🙂
No, I think the main thing that motivates me is seeing all the amazing work out there and wanting to try to make something like it. The main motivations for this piece were people who do amazing robot and mech designs like Vitaly Bulgorov, Aaron Beck, Greg Broadmore, Mike Nash etc.
What inspired you to make Zero-Day?
Well this is part of a larger “instrumental video” series that I’ve been working on for the last 10+ years. If you look at “IV.10” and “instrumental video nine” it’s the pretty clear next step. I really like making audio and video super tightly synced as I think it illicits some sort of visceral response.
Based on the themes from Transparent Machines and Zero Day, you seem to have some thoughts on the way technology is changing society. Would you say you are optimistic or pessimistic about the future of a tech connected world?
I would say I am cautiously optimistic. I think technology is doing a huge amount of good and will continue to. I do think there are some potential pitfalls but I think things are changing so fast that there really isn’t gonna be a lot of time to stop and realize if things are getting fucked until it’s too late.
I think these videos might come across as paranoid or very pessimistic but they are really more sort of exaggerations of a worst case sci-fi scenario. There is plenty of technologies like AR, VR, self-driving cars, etc. that I am BEYOND jacked up for. I think these things have the *potential* to be extremely positive for society.
ZERO-DAY Process Video
What was the most difficult part about this project?
Hmmm, I think just sort of defining the scope of the project. I really never have a clear idea about where these things are going when I start. I shit you not, at one point the second half of the film was gonna have a bunch of snippets of 70’s porn on the walls and the film was gonna be more about like how we have this weird machine fetish culture. I even downloaded a bunch of old porn and edit it in to see how it would look. HAHAHA. So this shit is really all over the place until the very end. At best i have a loose grasp on where the hell this shit is going.
The audio is so great and very integrated to the animation for Zero Day. What was the process like with working with Standingwave?
I’ve known Kyle for a very long time and he did the sound design on Transparent Machines, Subprime, etc. This was the first time though that I’ve had someone else do the music for an “instrumental video”. Which was a bit of a learning curve but Kyle does amazing work and he killed it. Never ceases to come up with great ideas or push things in directions I never thought of.
I’ve noticed you using Octane more. How has Octane Changed your Design or Animation Process?
Honestly it’s very hard for me to imagine going back to the standard renderer. Not until the put in a live viewer at least. Can’t overstate how amazing and helpful that is. Really changes everything for someone like me who has no idea what they’re doing and is just pushing buttons until something looks cool.
One last thing. What is your favorite artist to listen to when working?
Oh god, I could sit here and be like, I love all this super obscure cool crap (which i usually do) but lately I’ve been listening to just fucking horrible shitty like 90’s rap music like puff daddy and like nelly and shit. HHAHAH, so fucking random and weird. I’m this fucking nerdy ass middle aged white dude all dressed up sitting in his basement alone making robot animations listening to DMX… LOLOL. WTFFFF.
I stopped by the Salt Lake City Motion Graphics Group during my road trip to do answer some questions and wave my hands around. It ended up being a very honest discussion about the history of GSG, The philosophy of making tutorials, and why A+ school work isn’t good enough.
Thanks to the group for inviting me out and asking all these great questions. I hope you enjoy it.
Oh yeah, Remind me to get longer T-Shirts to wear next time.
I came across this 80s style promotional animation while surfing r/RetroFuturism on Reddit
Created by freelance graphic designer and illustrator Florian Renner based in Munich. What’s not to like with a DeLorean DMC-12, City Kit, and copious amounts of 80s neon? I love when I see pieces where City Kit is heavily modified. In this case to the point where it’s almost unrecognizable. Be sure to check out the rest of his work.
Not every little render is worth a blog post. But, sometimes, we still want to share it. Follow the new GSG Tumblr to see fun C4D renders, tests gone wrong, tiny animations, upcoming tutorials, product previews, and animated gifs as they happen.
Here are some of our favorite results from our very first Render Challenge, “Grapes”. For the challenge, I asked Cinema 4D artists to make the render as close to the original render as possible. It was a challenge to recreate something perfectly. Not to copy them, but to learn what it takes to make a beautiful image and keep some of those lessons in mind for another project. Some of our favorite results are below including one from Jeremy Cox who was nice enough to include his C4D Scene File. I also included mine below. Looks like I need some more practice with SSS textures.
Thanks to those of you who participated. Let me know if this is something we should do more of in the future.
Sikko vd Ploeg
I found this 3D render today and I thought it would be perfect for a new Render Challenge. Try to copy the render above EXACTLY and see how close you can get. I love learning this way because it forces you to look at some of the smaller modeling details and it teaches me to try subtle lighting tricks to get a render just right.
Share Your Results
Drop links to your renders in the comments below. Let’s see how close we can get. Also, if you get stuck, we can use the comments to ask questions and share techniques. Have Fun!
I was talking with the Super-Great-And-Talented™ Casey Hupke at NAB this year and he mentioned in his enthusiastic way that he had an idea for a video series on Greyscalegorilla. This guy Casey is so talented and a great teacher so of course I was all “Heck Yes!!”. He calls it “Casey Explains It All” and here is the idea he came up with.
Post your Cinema 4D questions in the comments below. Then, Casey will pick his favorite one and make a quick, helpful video about the topic. It’s that simple. So, can you help us get this going? Check out his reel below to get and idea of the type of crazy cool stuff Casey makes. I’m so excited to have such a talented, helpful guy want to give back to the community. Stay tuned for the result.
Motion artist and teacher, Colin Evoy Sebestyen has done something I have never seen before. He has posted his entire demo reel (shown above) as an open source project for anyone to download, play with, and learn from. Everything you see in his reel and in this post is available in a huge download of scene files, vector objects, and videos. So cool! I have learned a ton by opening up others’ scene files, and Colin gives us a ton of great ones to play with.
Colin also sent Greyscalegorilla this exclusive video (posted below) of him going through some of the project files to show you how they were put together and some of the thought that went behind making them. Thanks so much to Colin for putting this out for the community. Colin mentioned that you can thank him by following him on twitter, or liking his Facebook page.
Colin’s Video Walkthrough
Animated GIF Examples
Just as a painting you may own does you no good sitting in your basement unseen, your source files don’t do much backed up on a hard drive. – Colin
Computers are jerks and love to fill in the gaps linearly because they are lazy sacks of wires. A great animator/motion designer spends most of their days fighting computers to make sure they don’t mess this up.
In this presentation about designing with animation, Pasquale D’Silva goes through some great examples of how animation can be used to help design software interfaces. It’s a great talk about how animation can help make software easier to use. He also wrote this article that includes some great visual examples of these animation concepts in action. The best part… These concepts are great for ALL motion design. Not just software.
Also See… Guide To Keyframes In After Effects