Pushing the Limits of Cinema 4D – Interview with Zachary Corzine
Learn about Zachary Corzine’s creative process as he pushes the limits of Cinema 4D to create renders you didn’t think were possible in C4D.
In this podcast, Chad Ashley gets to know 3D artist extraordinaire Zachary Corzine. They talk about Zach’s history, learning motion design and 3D, going from ad agency work to freelance to one of the top studios in the world. They even touch a bit on his new Procedural Systems training series in Greyscalegorilla Plus. All that and much more!
- Guest – Zachary Corzine
- Dungeons and Dragons
- Trevor Kerr (Greyscalegorilla Guide to Redshift)
- NAB Presentation: Learning C4D Through Experimentation
- Interview: From Experiements to a 3D Career with Zachary Corzine
- California College of the Arts
- Greyscalegorilla Tutorials
- Render Tests on Instagram
- Brittany England – Illustrator
- Matthias Omotola
- NAB Presentation 2: Commercial Production Workflow for Freelancers
- Joe Ball
- Brendi Wedinger
- Bryan Plust
- Aaron Covrett
- Field Forces
- Procedural Systems Training
Chad Ashley: 00:00:00 Welcome to another Greyscalegorilla podcast. I’m your host today, Chad Ashley. In our virtual studio today we have a very special guest. We’ve got Zach Corzine from Man versus Machine on the show today. Talking about how he uh, got started in the industry going all the way from back to when he was in school all the way to being a, at one of the best motion design studios I think in the country, Man versus Machine. We’re going to talk about his journey, his process, how he likes to work and of course the uh, the training that he just put out recently on Greyscalegorilla Plus. I highly recommend checking that out. In fact, you’ll probably want to take advantage of our Greyscalegorilla Plus memberships. Our special introductory pricing is only good up until October 31st. So you want to join now and save and checkout Zach’s course. It is killer stuff. I’ve learned so much, not only about his techniques and his folder structure, but his ways of using mograph are very interesting. We’re going to get into all of this on the show. So sit back, relax, grab yourself a coffee and enjoy the pot.
Speaker 2: 00:01:04 (Music)
Chad Ashley: 00:01:17 Yeah, I’ve been, I’ve been wanting to talk to you for awhile and get you on the podcast because , I’m a big fan of your work.
Zachary Corzine: 00:01:23 Thanks.
Chad Ashley: 00:01:23 Uh, yeah, I mean, and you know, um, I just also think you’re a really interesting and cool guy. I’m not just saying that.
Zachary Corzine: 00:01:30 I think you are just saying that, but I’ll take it. I’ll take it.
Chad Ashley: 00:01:34 Definitely not. Dude, you actually taught me how to play Dungeons and Dragons.
Zachary Corzine: 00:01:39 Oh yes. I, I forgot about that. Um, you were in town for SIGGRAPH.
Chad Ashley: 00:01:45 Yeah.
Zachary Corzine: 00:01:45 And our good mutual friend Trevor Kerr was very interested in, uh, getting you introduced to Dungeons and Dragons. So I got to DM for you.
Chad Ashley: 00:01:56 Yeah. That, that was, um, that was definitely, uh, I didn’t know what to expect to be honest. And, and Trevor has been trying to get me to do it for a while now. And so, ah, you know, my history with it was like, you know, I knew about it when I was growing up and whatnot, but I always thought of it as like this sort of, I don’t know, I thought for some reason it was going to be more difficult or like have more rules or like, you know what I mean?
Zachary Corzine: 00:02:21 Yeah. Well there’s like, there’s definitely different ways to run it. Like I didn’t, um, I didn’t really get into like tabletop games or you know, D and D or anything until like a couple of years ago just cause I had a group of friends that were like super welcoming, um, about it and like were, um, like kind of created the right space to like, feel like I could get into it. Cause it can definitely, uh, be a little intense, especially when, you know, people are doing proper role playing and, uh, getting, getting all dressed up and everything as well. But.
Chad Ashley: 00:02:55 Yeah. We didn’t do that.
Zachary Corzine: 00:02:56 No, no.
Chad Ashley: 00:02:56 We didn’t get dressed up. But yeah, I mean it was, um, so I’m trying to remember. It was me. It was you, it was Trevor, it was Aaron.
Zachary Corzine: 00:03:05 Yeah. Aaron Covrett yup.
Chad Ashley: 00:03:07 Um, and your girlfriend and Aaron’s wife and then
Zachary Corzine: 00:03:12 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:03:12 Was that it? Oh man. I feel like that might’ve been it, but yeah, we were, I’m trying to remember what our adventure was, but I know, I know Trevor got more and more inebriated as the mission went on until he eventually, uh, died. Right? Like didn’t he die?
Zachary Corzine: 00:03:30 Yeah. Yeah, he did. But we were so close to the end of the night. I think I just, and I mean he wasn’t gonna, you know, recollect either way. I think I just, uh, gave him, gave him the win on that one. Avoided the death.
Chad Ashley: 00:03:44 Otherwise you’d never hear the end of it when you get to work. Oh man. Um, all right. So speaking of which, uh, I wanna tell people a little bit about, um, your history and where you are now and all that sort of thing, but, um, I think it’s, it’s important to mention, uh, how I came to know you. And that was from, I believe, I believe it was when you presented at NAB. What was that, like a year or two years ago?
Zachary Corzine: 00:04:14 I guess it was, yeah. Two years ago.
Chad Ashley: 00:04:16 Yeah. So I, I maybe I’d heard your name, uh, before, but I feel like when you did that presentation where you had like the, the cubes becoming spheres and like floating up into the air.
Zachary Corzine: 00:04:29 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:04:29 There was an instant like buzz going around you and it was kind of palpable, you know, like there was people talking about you like, Aw man, this guy’s really good. You see his presentation? Oh my God.
Zachary Corzine: 00:04:45 Yeah. Which, like, sorry to interrupt.
Chad Ashley: 00:04:46 Yeah no.
Zachary Corzine: 00:04:46 It was a, it was, it was a funny thing because it was like, that was my first event like that just, you know, joining and attending of itself, but then also my first event, like, you know, uh, giving a presentation. So, uh, you, I really wanted to keep expectations as low as possible. So I think it was like during the, like technical tests early on somehow. Some, yeah, some of that, like, buzz got out a little bit and, uh, I’m like, man, we gotta we gotta like keep these expectations low cause it’s, you know, you got to setting me up for failure here, but yeah it worked out.
Chad Ashley: 00:05:22 Oh man, nah dude, you did a great job. Yeah. You killed it, man.
Zachary Corzine: 00:05:26 Yeah, that was fun.
Chad Ashley: 00:05:27 I think that it was then that I sort of saw a little bit how your brain works, which is a really, especially when it comes to like Cinema 4D, I think you have a really unique take on how to manipulate the tools to get it to do what you want, which I think is fascinating and lucky for us. Um, you were, you were kind enough to loan some of those, um, brain cells over to Greyscalegorilla Plus where you are teaching a, an awesome piece of training over there, uh, procedural systems. I highly recommend it. We’ll check, we’ll talk more about that later, but
Zachary Corzine: 00:06:00 Cool.
Chad Ashley: 00:06:01 Let’s get back into the beginning. So you went to school, uh, you grew up, did you grow up in the Bay area or did you just sort of like start your career in the Bay area?
Zachary Corzine: 00:06:10 No, I grew up there. There’s a small town, uh, along the coast that’s like a little less than an hour south of San Francisco. Uh, so I grew up there, super small town with nothing to do. So that was kind of like, uh, what really got me into, um, I grew up making music, so I was more on the audio side of things. Um, and then it wasn’t until in high school I had, uh, like amazing art teacher, which I feel like I hear about this a lot from a lot of different people that like you have that one kind of pivotal person that changes everything. And, and she was definitely that. She like, uh, you know, had like really went out of her way to provide tools and she had a computer with some old version of Photoshop on it and, uh, was like really encouraging about all of that. So like that was when I kind of started becoming more interested into the visual side of the arts. And, um, yeah, I think, I think like from there it kinda just snowballed. Like, once I like kinda got opened up into that world a little bit, I just like couldn’t get enough. And, and then the, the music, uh, side of things just kinda slowly faded away.
Chad Ashley: 00:07:21 So when you say music where you, uh, were, are we talking like music at school or were you in a band or like what was the story there?
Zachary Corzine: 00:07:28 Yeah, it was a lot of like bands and uh, I just would like, I had a couple of different friends who were like singers, so, you know, produce beats for them and, and just work on a lot of different music. It’s like that town is, uh, is pretty awesome cause it’s like, it’s small, but there’s like a lot of a lot of talent and like, um, it’s, it’s definitely like very like nurturing towards the creative arts and stuff. So, uh, there was a lot of like, inspiration in that aspect and a lot of people I knew, uh, whether or not, you know, it was like fruitful or whatever the case may be. It was, it was, uh, it was definitely like inspiring. So yeah, it just kind of explored a lot of different things. But.
Chad Ashley: 00:08:12 Sounds like that art teacher was pretty instrumental.
Zachary Corzine: 00:08:14 Yeah. Yeah, man, she, she’s great. I’m still, I still talk to her sometimes and like we’ll send her stuff that I’m working on and.
Chad Ashley: 00:08:20 Oh wow, that’s cool.
Zachary Corzine: 00:08:22 Yeah. She’s, she’s the best man. I like. I definitely, there’s been a couple of people in my life, my mother being the primary one that like, was just like, like monumentous, you know, like, it’s just like, it is just like changes the entire trajectory of your life, which, uh, you can’t say about a lot of people, you know?
Chad Ashley: 00:08:43 Yeah. That’s, that’s awesome. I have a similar story. I had a teacher also in high school that really encouraged me and you know, just kind of like pushed me and, and, and I became like this, you know, the guy that hung out in the art room with all the art guys and art girls and we just like hung out and had a good time and, that was my experience. But so you, you end up falling sort of, uh, into this, into art and you discover Photoshop and then you how, how the heck do you end up doing motion design? Like what happens there?
Zachary Corzine: 00:09:16 Oh my man. So that’s, that’s a, that’s way down the journey actually. I, so after high school, um, I went to California College of the Arts in San Francisco, they also have a campus in Oakland. Um, but I only went there for a year and a half. One of the reasons being that ad, uh, scholarship out of high school and, uh, once that, once those funds kind of dried up art school was,
Chad Ashley: 00:09:42 So, hold on. Rewind, you had a scholarship for doing what? For art?
Zachary Corzine: 00:09:47 Yeah, yeah. For art basically.
Chad Ashley: 00:09:49 And this was to what school?
Zachary Corzine: 00:09:51 California College of the Arts.
Chad Ashley: 00:09:52 Okay. So you get a scholarship there.
Zachary Corzine: 00:09:54 Yep. But it was, it wasn’t, it wasn’t like, you know, any crazy scholarship. It was kinda just like a helping hand sorta deal.
Chad Ashley: 00:10:01 Okay.
Zachary Corzine: 00:10:01 And um, yeah, man, art school is insanely expensive. So it was, yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:10:08 Psh. Yes, it is.
Zachary Corzine: 00:10:08 Yeah. And so it was a combination of both that kind of, uh, you know, laying its burden upon me. And then also, uh, at the time I was, I was a little like conflicted. Like I was going through like kind of rough patch and I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to pursue art. Like I started becoming more interested in sociology and I was, I was just kind of, I was a little bit like, I feel like a lot of people, you know, as you kind of go through growing pains and stuff, you’re just a little lost. Like you’re a little, like, I was really sure about this. Maybe now I’m not so sure. Um, and so I, I ended up, uh, leaving CCA and you know, just went to community college to finish credits and stuff and was kind trying to just figure out what I wanted to do. Um, and for a while I’ve, you know, I thought I wouldn’t even pursue design or art or anything.
Zachary Corzine: 00:11:00 I thought I was, you know, done with it. Um, and after, uh, after I finished kind of general education at the community college, I transferred to CSU and this was another one. It’s funny, it’s just another one of those like pivotal moments where they have like a transfer orientation at CSU. So, um, we all like sat in on that and they, they kind of walk you through like, okay, so, um, you know, these are the different departments, here’s where you’re gonna go after this orientation. And it was, it was only until like the end of this lady giving, uh, giving this kind of spiel about everything that she was like, Oh, and by the way, if you want to change your major, just follow the department that you want to go to. And at that, like before that I thought because I had like declared my major when I transferred and everything, I thought it was like more
Chad Ashley: 00:11:50 Set in stone.
Zachary Corzine: 00:11:52 Set in stone. Yeah. And so just that tiniest little thing of her being like, if you want to go to a different department, you can. And I think that was like that, that
Chad Ashley: 00:12:00 You were like, Oh my God, what do I do?
Zachary Corzine: 00:12:02 Yeah. And I think that was that thing where it like just kind of ignited something in me where it was like that like, yes, single moment where I was like, Oh, like just kind of made me question everything. And, uh, I was just like, I think I really do want to go back to doing design. And so I just, yeah, I just went with that department head and, and then filed the papers to like change my major and stuff. And yeah, man, it was, it’s a journey. But yeah, so we’re not even at how I got into motion design. So, um, you know, did the whole college thing and graduated from the CSU.
Zachary Corzine: 00:12:34 Um, after that, I uh, freelance it a couple of places I freelanced at like IDO, which is a design studio. Um, they have a bunch of locations, but there’s one in Palo Alto that I freelanced that, um, actually got an internship at Ubisoft, the video games company.
Chad Ashley: 00:12:49 Nice. Yeah, I saw that on your LinkedIn.
Zachary Corzine: 00:12:51 Yeah. So that was actually kind of my first little taste in 3D they use, we were, we were on the marketing side, so, uh, we would, we would like work with the games development team, but we were purely making, you know, like the marketing materials and promotional stuff,
Chad Ashley: 00:13:07 Sure.
Zachary Corzine: 00:13:07 And game cover art and all that type of stuff. But basically that was kind of, uh, early taste in, into 3D and stuff. Um, cause they, they would use 3ds Max there. We’d get like character rigs from the games department and you know, like pose him up for, for the game covers and everything. And that, that was, I was only there for like six months or so. But um,
Chad Ashley: 00:13:29 So was that sort of your first introduction into using 3d?
Zachary Corzine: 00:13:33 Yeah, I’d in, in college I had open cinema and like messed around a little bit, but that was, and, and I kinda just like was like, ah, I don’t know if this is for me kind of thing. But I remember I’d seen people who were just using cinema to render out like, you know, flat graphics to use for whatever, like packaging and stuff. So I use the little bit for that, like, just for very like simplistic patterns and stuff that I could use in designs. Um, but I’d never really like, you know, like dove into 3d. So that was kinda my first, uh, kind of bigger introduction into that. And, and we had, um, I can’t remember his name right now, but we had this, uh, lead artist who was, he was just a beast man.
Zachary Corzine: 00:14:18 He like, uh, they had brought, he, he used to run his own, um, his own production company that would, uh, do a lot of key art for, for different games companies. And they, they just kind of like bought him out and brought him in house and he basically led the whole department. He would like do, he came from more of a photography background too, which I think was a super helpful just, uh, from, from, you know, like the, the glimmers of knowledge that I got from him. Um, I remember we were working on the game cover for, um, Rainbow Six Siege and like had to, you know, get in touch with the local police department to get all like guns clearance and stuff and we’d set up photo shoot and bring in all the people then, you know, take some of the game environment, uh, from the games department and comp that together and stuff. And, um, it was just, it was, it was a cool time man. It was, it was definitely like one of those, like those like reassuring moments. Cause I remember just being like so inspired there and very like that, like fire getting lit under me a little bit.
Chad Ashley: 00:15:22 Yeah. I love that.
Zachary Corzine: 00:15:22 Yeah, man, it was good.
Chad Ashley: 00:15:24 I also think that anybody who does 3d that has a photography background immediately in my opinion, has a leg up on those that don’t.
Zachary Corzine: 00:15:35 Yeah definitely.
Chad Ashley: 00:15:35 Because it’s just so much of the same principles. You know, like you just, you just, I can’t, you just have to know that stuff. And, and for me, I, I came from a filmmaking background, like traditional filmmaking.
Zachary Corzine: 00:15:48 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:15:48 So not so much of like a traditional photographer, but from like a filmmaking perspective, there’s so much that you can take into 3d from there too. So I highly recommend if you, uh, haven’t picked up a camera in awhile. Do it cause it’s super useful in 3d.
Zachary Corzine: 00:16:04 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:16:04 All right, so you’re at Ubisoft and, um, you’re freelancing there and you’re, you’re ready to move on. Where, where do you go next? You got a little bit of experience? Not, not a ton at this point.
Zachary Corzine: 00:16:17 Yeah, not a ton of experience. Had like a little bit, um, like a couple more things in my book. I managed to, uh, it was interesting work in there too because uh, because like we’re, we’re basically like a subsection of, of the larger company and they would, we’re like, you know, creating marketing materials and stuff, but we would actually have to pitch against other companies like they would hire so they would like if we had to, you know, develop the branding for some new game that’s being released, they would hire like two or three other companies to pitch and then we would pitch. If you, if you guys win,
Chad Ashley: 00:16:52 Man, that’s nerve racking dude.
Zachary Corzine: 00:16:53 Yeah, you have to like pitch just to work on your own company’s project.
Chad Ashley: 00:16:58 What if you didn’t make it? Would you just like “Oh, I guess I’ll go sit at my desk for three months and not do anything.”
Zachary Corzine: 00:17:02 They would just kind of fold us on to, to other stuff. But they would just, it was, it was like cut throat in that way where it was like, just the, the best work is gonna move forward. And if that’s not you guys, then we’re gonna like, you know, outsource it.
Chad Ashley: 00:17:16 Wow
Zachary Corzine: 00:17:16 So, uh, yeah it was, it was interesting but it was good cause it like, you know, I haven’t really worked in house, uh, very much at places and like that, that was nice cause even though it was in house, I still got to kind of get introduced to like pitching environment and you know, that kind of agility and, and just,
Chad Ashley: 00:17:33 Yeah, that’s good lessons to learn for sure.
Zachary Corzine: 00:17:36 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:17:36 And it’s nice that it’s, this is a bit of a safety net too because you’re not necessarily pitching to win your dinner. You know, like you’re still gonna have a job at the end of the day and you’re still going to get rolled onto something else. But you know, it’s a, that sounds like it’s a good area. A good sort of like testing ground to like really learn how to pitch right and hone your, hone your skills.
Zachary Corzine: 00:17:58 Yeah. Yeah. So then after basically internship ended there, uh, I freelance with them a little bit and then, um, it was kind of just like on a project by project basis. I forget, it was just, you know, kind of projects dried up for, uh, a month or so. And so, uh, I wasn’t booked there and I started looking at other opportunities. I got in contact with this recruiter, um, and he was kind of helping me get placement in like some ad agencies in San Francisco. And I got placed luckily enough at, uh, this small ad agency called Camping King. Um, it’s in San Francisco, it’s in the Presidio area, which is like really close to the Golden Gate bridge, which is like a gorgeous area to work. Ended up staying there for two years, which was like kind of my main training grounds I guess. Um, and that was basically how I transitioned into motion design through, through my journey there. Cause when I started it was just, I pretty much started just as like a production designer. Like I was doing a lot of mechanicals, um, for like menus at restaurants and just like, you know.
Chad Ashley: 00:18:59 So what’s, so let me pause you there. I don’t know what a mechanical is. I’m guessing a lot of our audience probably won’t either. Can you tell us what that is?
Zachary Corzine: 00:19:07 Yeah, so it’s, uh, at the time we were working for Del Taco and
Chad Ashley: 00:19:13 Alright, I like tacos.
Zachary Corzine: 00:19:14 And, um, I don’t know if you like Del Taco tacos. I never had.
Chad Ashley: 00:19:17 I don’t know if I ever had a Del taco. Is that like a West coast thing?
Zachary Corzine: 00:19:21 Yeah, yeah. I think it’s like a, SoCal thing. I’ve never had it either. Um, but I’ve heard that they are not worth, uh, you know, venturing out for.
Chad Ashley: 00:19:28 Aww. Del Taco is not going to like this podcast.
Zachary Corzine: 00:19:28 Uh, sorry, Del Taco. But, um, yeah, so like for example, if, you know, someone designs some of the menus or some of the collateral stuff that would be in store, um, you have to set that up for, you know, for the printer and for like proper, uh, printing practices and stuff. So it’s, it’s, it’s basically like you’re after the designer kind of sets up everything. It’s going into InDesign and, uh, just setting up the mechanical templates that that can allow for, for printing and stuff. It’s, it’s
Chad Ashley: 00:20:08 Got it.
Zachary Corzine: 00:20:09 Very riveting work as you can imagine.
Chad Ashley: 00:20:12 Yeah, it sounds exciting.
Zachary Corzine: 00:20:15 Yeah Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:20:15 Okay. So, uh, you’re there, you’re doing some Del Taco work.
Zachary Corzine: 00:20:20 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:20:20 Where, at which point do you start to learn cinema 4D? I feel like you’re now three gigs into your journey and you haven’t really even touched it.
Zachary Corzine: 00:20:29 I know. Uh, yeah, so I was there probably I would guess like eight months, um, and tell like, so I started kind of transitioning more to traditional design stuff. I didn’t really like doing the production design and, um, I was freelancing there the first couple of months, uh, made a good enough impression that they decided to hire me full time, started full time and, um, slowly kind of started showing more of my chops to allow to transition into better projects and work on more exciting things. Uh, so I was doing more kind of traditional design stuff, a lot of branding and uh, you know, everything from like logo designs to um, what have you. But, uh, after about eight months, I think of being there, it was, we had started to kind of win some new clients.
Zachary Corzine: 00:21:18 So we ended up getting Google for this, uh, uh, like safety initiative, uh, project. And we, I was originally just doing a bunch of, basically got like trained to do within their branding guidelines and their illustration style to do a lot of like the Google illustrations and, and just kind of fit within there. They have a very, you know, specific, uh, uh, parameters under with which, uh, the illustrations need to look and, and everything. And so I was getting trained under that and, and doing a lot of different designs for them, which was fun. And there was one like one, one off piece that like needed animation. And I was like, I, I remember I said, started becoming really like interested in animation, I think. I can’t say what specifically, what it was. I just, I remember like, like there was a point where I like came home one day and talked to Brittany, my girlfriend, and was like, I, I don’t know if I’ll be ever be able to ever do this, but like, I really wanna like get into animation. Um, and so I think when that, that was kind of the opportunity arose where they were like, we really need, um, animation on this. Like we’re either gonna bring someone in or whatever else. And I was like, I was just like, I can do it, and I didn’t know how to do it, but I’d just like, I’ll do it.
Chad Ashley: 00:22:34 I want to learn it. I want it.
Zachary Corzine: 00:22:36 I’ll figure out how do it. Yeah. Yeah. And so, yeah, so I just kind of dove in and then, um, ended up doing a lot of different, uh, kind of one off animation stuff for, for them. And then that kind of snowballed into, you know, every project that we were kind of working on, you know, there’ll be like
Chad Ashley: 00:22:53 So was this a 3D animation or was this After Effects?
Zachary Corzine: 00:22:55 No, no, sorry. After Effects. Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:22:57 Oh Okay.
Zachary Corzine: 00:22:59 Um, and then, yeah, just kinda, kind of grew from there. And then we, they ended up kind of the, the agency there. They’re really good at, uh, the team there was amazing and were really supportive and kind of fostering of skills and stuff. And so they, they ended up setting up this like content lab is what they called it. And it was essentially like, we’re gonna make, cause a lot of, you know, early on the agency’s pretty small. And, uh, and it was a lot of that stuff. You know, we’re, we were going to other production studios to create the work and they were like, you know, for, for smaller stuff, uh, that we can handle. Uh, we’re gonna have this content lab and actually, you know, make it in house and everything. So I basically got folded on to doing that. And so I was just creating a bunch of animated content and then that kind got me a little bit back into 3d. Um, and then that was about the time too as well, where I was like, okay, I really, I really want to learn 3d I really want to learn animation. And so I just started doing tests. Like I was just like, I’m gonna do, I’m just going to crank out tests. And it was like, it was a crazy point in my life cause it, it was wildly unhealthy. Like I was just not sleeping every single day, would just come home and sit at my computer and just like make, just design.
Chad Ashley: 00:24:15 And that was all cinema? Right? That you’re doing.
Zachary Corzine: 00:24:16 That was all cinema yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:24:17 So where were you learning how to do all this stuff where you’re just like combing the internet or were you just like exploring completely on your own or what?
Zachary Corzine: 00:24:25 It was little bit of both, but it was definitely guided. Like I would, I would have like specific things that I was trying to do. It wasn’t just like I was, I was kind of like, I would have like a checklist kind of thing of like, I want to learn how to do this, I wanna learn how to do this. So then, um, just kind of devote all my time to it. But yeah, it was, it was both combination of just like learning through, exploring and messing around with the, the tools, but also, you know, whatever I could find, I’m sure I devoured a bunch of GSG tutorials and stuff and yeah, it was just, it was just like full force. I think like once that dam broke, I was like, okay, I instantly had an idea of where I wanted to be and I knew how far I was from that and I was like, okay.
Chad Ashley: 00:25:07 You were just going to put in the hours.
Zachary Corzine: 00:25:08 Yeah. I just like, I have to like, I have to get there. And so I was just like, and I don’t think, I don’t think I am there even yet, but it’s like, it, at the time it was like, you know, you’re very far off, you’re at the like very bottom of the mountain and you’re like, alright, you gotta start trekking.
Chad Ashley: 00:25:23 Um, so the, you’re, you’re, you’re basically like marathon. You’re running a marathon in a sprint basically to try and like get to this, get to this place where you feel more comfortable in cinema, in 3d and stuff. You said you’re taking up all these hours, you’re like, you know, coming home, just getting on the computer. How are you, how are you still having a girlfriend and all of this? Like how did that work? Was she very like understanding about that time you spent?
Zachary Corzine: 00:25:54 Yeah, yeah. Dude, that is a, is a testament to her. She is, she’s incredible man. She is like so supportive. We’re just like, we met in college, uh, we had a web design class together and just instantly, like just had a connection just like from so many different levels. Like she’s a, she’s an illustrator. Um, and so like we, we just understand each other. Like, she just knows, like in that case, you know, like she’s, she’s very understanding of like, you have to do this like this for you. This is something you have to do. I understand that you have to do it, I’ll like support you in that and like, um, and it goes both ways. You know, like I support her a ton in that stuff as well. And like I think that was kinda, that was one aspect of the story. I guess I had, I forgot to mention like even after I kind of decided to transfer back to majoring design, I was still like, you know, struggling and kind of waffling a little bit on it. And like when I met her man it was like, that was like a game changer because it just, she super inspires me. She’s super like pushes me.
Chad Ashley: 00:26:56 Wow.
Zachary Corzine: 00:26:56 And yeah, I don’t think I honestly like I wouldn’t be here at all without her. It’s like we’ve just been a team ever since. Like even we work on like projects together, which are always fun cause it’s nice too cause like we’re, we’re both in like adjacent industry. So like we have like if it’s a Venn diagram, you know, like we have like a little bit of overlap but like.
Chad Ashley: 00:27:16 Well yeah, you’re both visual people too. You know, like that’s, that’s a huge part of it.
Zachary Corzine: 00:27:21 Yeah. But it’s nice that we’re like in, you know, different camps as well. Cause then like when we worked together on stuff, we bring different things to the table, which is, which is amazing cause it’s like we’re, we’re both visuals. We both have that foundational understanding. But then, uh, we each kind of cover different aspects of, of design and illustration and everything. So like, um, it’s, it’s always fun getting to work with her on stuff. And she, she’s also like, I’m working on stuff and we’ll show it to her and like get critiques from her and she’s like helping me, you know, refine, you know, and having that was huge too. Cause it’s like, you know, having someone that can just bounce things off of like, Oh, what about this? What, what do you think about this? Like, and having like an outsider perspective is nice too. You know, like, cause she doesn’t.
Chad Ashley: 00:28:01 Yeah, that’s key.
Zachary Corzine: 00:28:02 Yeah man. And it’s funny cause like she’ll, she’ll suggest things where you’re like, damn, like, like for someone who is just, you know, entirely outside the industry, she’ll, she’ll have some insights where you’re like, Oh man. Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s a gem.
Chad Ashley: 00:28:17 Yeah. I think that’s great. You know, everybody needs that person. Whether it’s, you know, your girlfriend, your, your buddy, whatever it is. Everybody needs that person whose opinion they trust.
Zachary Corzine: 00:28:29 Yes.
Chad Ashley: 00:28:30 100%.
Zachary Corzine: 00:28:31 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:28:32 And you, you just need to find that person and that becomes your go to. I’m going to send you this. What do you think of that? How’s this sound? And just like that sort of like, just having that extra pair of eyes sometimes is so important. I know it is for me. I’ve got a couple people like that my life for different things and without them I feel like I would be, I’d be lost because I wouldn’t, I would never be like 100% sure that this is my best. And yeah, I think that that’s, that’s really cool man, that you have that. And it sounds like a perfect sort of partnership. Are you able to do that for her as well with her illustration work? Does she show you her stuff and?
Zachary Corzine: 00:29:13 Yeah. Yeah. And it’s cool man. Like it’s, it’s, it’s a really like fulfilling to be able to, and I think it, it, you know, it’s like mutual growth because it’s, it goes both ways where like I feel like my, my work gets better just from like learning from her in terms of like how she’s developing her side of work and stuff and um, and yeah. And it’s nice to be able to like support each other in that way and she’s an illustrator but has like really good design chops as well and, and help her out however I can. And um, yeah man it’s, it’s like massive having that, I think like that’s been the like key factor throughout, throughout my journey thus far. For sure.
Chad Ashley: 00:29:54 Yeah. That’s awesome. I feel like, yeah, that’s, that’s always so helpful to have that. So you, um, at this point you’re, you’re getting, you’re getting your chops up.
Zachary Corzine: 00:30:05 Mhmm.
Chad Ashley: 00:30:05 You’re getting better. You, you’re checking stuff off your list of stuff you wanted to learn how to do or stuff you wanted to figure out. Where, how does Maxon find you to, to bring you to that, that event? Like how did that even, how did that come around?
Zachary Corzine: 00:30:21 Yeah, so I guess the, the like 3d stuff like just kind of snowballed a little bit as well, where I was doing a bunch of those tests. I think I had, I can’t remember what number I was up to, but I think I might’ve been up to like 45 or something. Like I was just
Chad Ashley: 00:30:36 What? Wow.
Zachary Corzine: 00:30:36 And I would just post them on Instagram.
Chad Ashley: 00:30:38 Prolific over here.
Zachary Corzine: 00:30:40 I mean, it wasn’t. They’re, they’re not like inspiring whatsoever. So it’s not, it’s like, I mean it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s definitely funny to like look back on ’em and stuff and, but yeah, it was like, I was kinda just cranking those out, like doing as many as I could, uh, as fast as I could kind of thing. I mean also it’s like a balancing act cause you don’t wanna just like crank out stuff that you’re not proud of, but uh, you know, trying to get them in a spot that I felt good about at the time. And so I think, yeah, I think I was at, like, I was getting up there in terms of how many tests I had and then, um, someone who was on the, uh, like social management side at the NBA, uh, saw my work on Instagram and, and reached out to me and was like, Hey, do you wanna uh, freelance for us and do like social posts stuff?
Zachary Corzine: 00:31:29 And they, they do like post-game, um, like copying in graphics on things and, and whatever the case may be, he’s like, do you want to freelance for us? So I was like super excited about that. So I freelanced with them, uh, for about a year, just like at nights and stuff. And when they’d have a game, I’d kind of be, be on call for if there was like some crazy play that happened. Just you know, creating comping in some animations to kind of highlight very like NBA Jam-esque stuff.
Chad Ashley: 00:31:58 Okay.
Zachary Corzine: 00:31:59 Yeah. And when the Cavaliers won, um, I got to do the like announcement video on, on social that kind of showed all the players and the trophy and everything, which was um, which was like pretty big for me at the time. And that, that too, like I was just basically on retainer for them, uh, for about a year and got to learn a ton from that cause I was just, you know, moonlighting on that at night while still working at the agency during the day.
Zachary Corzine: 00:32:28 Um, and so that was, that was like a kind of big point that that got me even more into animation. Even more into 3d. Cause you know, your, the day job having to do the content lab stuff and work on client projects and at night working on stuff for the NBA. So it was just like a good time to kind of throw me into the fire a little bit. Um, and then, yeah, so then after that I ended up working at the agency for, um, handful of more months and then I kinda got to the point where I felt like I outgrew it a little bit and just was really itching to go freelance. Um, so I decided to leave and go freelance, um, and freelanced around San Francisco for a little over a year, um, and just made a decent amount of connections with different producers and different like art directors and stuff. Uh, and so they kind of moved on to other agencies as well and kinda thankfully, uh, recommended me. So I was able to kind of just work at a bunch of different ad agencies, a lot of like direct to client stuff for like Google and different tech companies and stuff as they’re prevalent up there.
Chad Ashley: 00:33:36 So it wasn’t, it sounds like you were doing a lot of, um, you’re freelancing not at like motion design studios or post houses or animation companies, but more in like an ad agency
Zachary Corzine: 00:33:48 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:33:48 Sort of world, which is kinda unique.
Zachary Corzine: 00:33:50 Yeah. I feel like, um, tech up there is just like all engulfing. Uh, and so it’s hard to kind of escape those. Those are, those are kind of like various black holes that people just kind of get sucked into and you never hear from again.
Chad Ashley: 00:34:04 Right.
Zachary Corzine: 00:34:05 It so, yeah, it was, it was kind of just kinda balancing all that. Like, you know, I, I did some projects from Google, for Google that, uh, I was really proud of and I had fun working on and it was nice because a lot of them too, it’s like, you know, they’re, they’re smaller projects that are just like one kind of sub-team within one, like larger, uh, like section of Google and stuff. So they’re like, they’re putting out some promotional thing for some initiative that, that, that team’s working on. And so they, it’s funny cause it’s like their, you know, one of the most massive companies in the world, but they’re like, Oh, our budget, you know, for, for this specific project, you know, is, was pretty small. So we’re, we can only bring on like a single freelancer to create this content for us. So you get to kind of spearhead that stuff. Uh, which was good too cause it kind of puts all the weight on your shoulders in a way that forces you to kind of adapt and learn stuff.
Chad Ashley: 00:34:59 Where you ever tempted to like take a full time gig at one of these tech companies? I know that’s a pretty popular route a lot of motion designers are taking these days.
Zachary Corzine: 00:35:07 Yeah, I was definitely tempted. I got offered a few times and I thought about it. But yeah, I just wasn’t like, I feel like, especially me, like I just, again, I wasn’t at the point that I wanted to be at at all and I was like, I’m not ready to like just settle down somewhere that I don’t feel like is gonna push me into the realms that I’m trying to get to. And so like I just I was like, I’m just not ready to do that.
Chad Ashley: 00:35:33 What was it that you wanted to learn? You felt like you didn’t, you didn’t know enough.
Zachary Corzine: 00:35:37 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:35:37 Or you felt like you haven’t done enough?
Zachary Corzine: 00:35:39 I guess a little bit of both. It’s mostly that I haven’t learned enough and I still feel like that, you know, and like I’d want to surround myself with people and I, and that’s not to say that like if I went to, you know, Google or Apple or whatever, that I wouldn’t learn a bunch, but it was just, I just didn’t feel like I was ready to stop kind of pushing in the direction that I wanted to go I guess. So, yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:36:00 Well, I guess it worked out for the best because you’re at Man versus Machine now, which is basically one of the best companies in the world, uh, doing motion design. I don’t think anybody would argue with that. Um, so tell me like you’re, you’re freelancing around, I’m still trying to figure out how the heck does Maxon find you? Was it, what, did they see you at an event or did you send them something?
Zachary Corzine: 00:36:22 It, uh, it was, so I had been freelancing for about a year. Um, I was still doing like tests and stuff, which I always do. I just like kind of post personal work of things that I’m either trying to learn or if it’s like, you know, uh, something I was working on for a client project gets killed and then I kind of adapt it for my own thing or whatever the case may be. So I was just posting random explorations and, and designs and stuff. And, uh, Matthias actually found me on Instagram and messaged me and was like, Hey, would you ever want to, you know, give a talk at one of our events kind of thing? Like we’d love to have you. And I was like, Holy sh*t, yeah, yeah of course.
Chad Ashley: 00:36:56 Did you know who he was at that point?
Zachary Corzine: 00:36:58 No. No, not at all. I’d like, I thought it was. Dude I legit, I legit thought it was like a scam. I was like
Chad Ashley: 00:37:04 Oh, that’s hilarious.
Zachary Corzine: 00:37:06 Who is this? Like, who is like trying to like, you know, pull my chain kind of thing.
Chad Ashley: 00:37:10 Yeah, yeah that’s funny.
Zachary Corzine: 00:37:11 And yeah, so then it was not like there was an upcoming, uh, event in, in the near future. So I, you know, I was like, yeah, of course I’d love to do it. And I didn’t hear from him for awhile. And then it was like, I think early next year that I like decided to email him and was just like, Hey, just wanted to follow up. Like, if, you know, there’s like a spot for me in any event coming up, I’d love to give a talk. And, and he was like, Oh you emailed me actually like perfect timing. Cause I was like just putting together the artists list and like yeah we’d love to have you. And then he was kind of like we’ve been look like I’m looking through your work and you have like you, it seems like you do a lot of client stuff and then you do a lot of personal stuff. Do you want to give like two talks, one on client stuff.
Chad Ashley: 00:37:52 That’s the classic Matthias trick right there. You fell for it.
Zachary Corzine: 00:37:55 Yeah. I fell right into it.
Chad Ashley: 00:37:55 Yeah you can really do two if you wanted to.
Zachary Corzine: 00:37:59 Yeah I fell face first and then I went, I was like yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:38:01 Oh that’s funny.
Zachary Corzine: 00:38:03 Cool.
Chad Ashley: 00:38:04 That’s cool.
Zachary Corzine: 00:38:04 But yeah it was good cause then I got to like split it up. I didn’t feel like I was forcing everything into one. And I think my personal, the NAB talk, that was more on kind of my personal exploration stuff, which I think is the one that you’re referencing. That one’s just more successful cause I, it’s just things that intrigued me more. And at the time I wasn’t, I wasn’t, that was kind of my drive to, to try to find a company like Man vs Machine or you know, somewhere that I felt like I could do the work that I did. You know, and my personal tests, like full time, like I wasn’t, it was very separate. Like it was very like, this is the work I do when I’m on the clock. This is the work I do when I’m off the clock and those do not bleed into each other. And I really wanted to do the work I was doing off the clock and like, just get to do that full time.
Chad Ashley: 00:38:46 Well, I think that’s a classic theme, right? That’s, that’s the, you have to do the work that you want to be doing no matter if you’re getting paid for it or not, because ultimately, that’s the only way it’ll happen. You know, nobody’s gonna hire you to make, um, I don’t know, spaghetti, if you’d never make spaghetti, like you got to go home and make spaghetti every night, like, and just do it until they, somebody is like, Oh that guy make spaghetti, let’s hire him.
Zachary Corzine: 00:39:13 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:39:13 But yeah, I remember that show. And uh, you know, I was with, uh, I think I drove, I think that’s the year I drove across the desert with Trevor and he was going with a specific intention of recruiting you.
Zachary Corzine: 00:39:27 Yeah. I didn’t know that at the time.
Chad Ashley: 00:39:28 And so, yeah, he, he was, he was like, I gotta watch this, this kid, I don’t know if he said kid, I’ll just say kid, cause it sounds cooler. And like, we’re going to get this kid and we’re going to like. I need, you know, I want to recruit him. He looks amazing. Make sure he’s not a jerk, all that sort of thing.
Zachary Corzine: 00:39:44 Yeah
Chad Ashley: 00:39:45 And so, um, yeah, we met, um, we met you there and uh, it turns out you were super good and also was, you’re also a really good speaker too.
Zachary Corzine: 00:39:55 Thank you.
Chad Ashley: 00:39:55 And I think that’s, that’s also something that, um, it’s a rare combination when you can find somebody that they could put a presentation together that can hold interest and people are into it and you’re showing some techniques that maybe somebody hasn’t thought of before, but you’re doing it all in a way that that’s approachable.
Chad Ashley: 00:40:15 Yeah, totally.
Chad Ashley: 00:40:16 I think that’s important.
Zachary Corzine: 00:40:17 Yeah. I think that’s like one of the most important things actually. Even, even if it’s like, even if it’s not necessarily like public speaking, even if it’s like, you know, when you’re building a deck and you’re trying to sell something through the client or something, that’s all about your ability to like coherently push forward something and get people’s interest in it. Cause you can’t just, you know, throw something out into the world and, and not like give it foundational support that’ll kind of move it forward and stuff. So that’s like definitely a, a really important aspect. Whether it’s, you know, public speaking or if it’s just, you know, working on client work, whatever, whatever it may be.
Chad Ashley: 00:40:51 Yeah. Yeah, man. And so you, you do the show. You, you blew everybody’s minds with all the crazy MoGraph stuff that we’ll get. I want to talk about that in a minute, but yeah. So you, you end up at, you end up getting a Trevor’s like, Oh, you should come check out Man vs Machine, you know, blah, blah, blah.
Zachary Corzine: 00:41:09 In proper Trevor fashion. He, the, right after the, I gave my first presentation I think he messaged me and was like, Hey, yeah, we should chat or whatever. And then I, I met up with him and the first thing he complimented, he was like, your file structures were really organized. That was the thing. What?
Chad Ashley: 00:41:27 Wow. Dude, that’s, that’s like a really big compliment from him.
Zachary Corzine: 00:41:32 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:41:32 I’d be like, okay, cool. Like that’s so perfect. And that is amazing.
Zachary Corzine: 00:41:38 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:41:38 So yeah, you’re like, Oh, okay. Yeah. Thanks man. I appreciate that.
Zachary Corzine: 00:41:43 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:41:43 And then how does that work? Does he, does he then hook you up with, uh, uh, the Man V guys and you do an interview and it just like.
Zachary Corzine: 00:41:52 Yeah, I literally did an interview in my, uh, Vegas hotel room.
Chad Ashley: 00:41:56 No way. They came there and you did it over the phone?
Zachary Corzine: 00:41:59 No, no just over the phone. But I was like, it was the next day. I was just like in my hotel room talking to
Chad Ashley: 00:42:04 Were you just like calling your girlfriend like, can you believe this?
Zachary Corzine: 00:42:07 She was there. She came, she came out.
Chad Ashley: 00:42:09 Oh, she was there. Dude. Were you guys freaking out?
Zachary Corzine: 00:42:11 Yeah. Yeah dude. It was I, and the thing was too, was like at the time, before I had talked to Trevor, I’d give my second presentation and he was like, he had gone back to LA at that point. So he’s like, Oh, I’m like, you know, I’m going to watch it over the stream and everything. And I just, like, my first one I was really proud of. Like I really felt like it encompassed me and my work and the second one like it again, it’s like it’s good, it’s fine for what it is, but it’s like, it’s the client work stuff. It’s the stuff that I’m like, I’m not necessarily like super into. And so like, I was like, I didn’t want him to watch that one. I was like, this is gonna like change your mind.
Chad Ashley: 00:42:51 Yeah. I know what, I only had one presentation. It’s good. You can go back, that’s fine. All good.
Zachary Corzine: 00:42:56 Yeah, yeah. But he, I think
Chad Ashley: 00:42:57 Oh that’s funny.
Zachary Corzine: 00:42:57 he texted me after I finished or whatever and was like, Oh yeah, good job, so.
Chad Ashley: 00:43:01 Well, you know, the thing is, is I think that a good studio uh, recognizes stuff that was maybe a client’s decision and maybe not your design or your direction.
Zachary Corzine: 00:43:14 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:43:14 So it was good that you did two presentations because imagine had you just done one and you chose to do your client work.
Zachary Corzine: 00:43:22 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:43:23 Yeah. And then that path wouldn’t have never opened up or maybe not have opened up, um, right away at least. And yeah, I think it was probably a good decision.
Zachary Corzine: 00:43:33 Yeah, thanks to Matthias for, uh, getting me two.
Chad Ashley: 00:43:36 Yeah, I mean I talked a lot of people in a and, and there’s like, there’s a little key moments that happen in everybody’s career, in everybody’s lives that just sort of like come together. And I think if you’re open to the path, the journey for like imagine you’re like on a, on a like an inflatable raft on a river or something. If you are sitting there trying to constantly paddle to some side or like maybe go against the stream, you’re just going to get frustrated and it’s just going to be a really, life’s going to be really tiring.
Zachary Corzine: 00:44:06 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 00:44:06 But if you sit in there and you just kind of go with it and you just see where it goes and you take advantage of the turns and the forks when they’re presented to you, good things can happen. I believe that.
Zachary Corzine: 00:44:19 Yeah, totally.
Chad Ashley: 00:44:20 So you’re, you’re still at Man V, is that correct?
Zachary Corzine: 00:44:23 I am, yeah. Been there for a year and a half now.
Chad Ashley: 00:44:26 A year and a half now. So what kind of stuff have you been doing there? Like, what, what’s some of the stuff the listeners might recognize?
Zachary Corzine: 00:44:33 Yeah. Uh, I’ve done all types of, uh, projects there. It’s been, it’s been like a whirlwind and, you know, moving down to LA and everything as well. And, um, it’s, it’s been incredible. It’s been definitely the, like most fruitful past year and a half of my life, uh, by far. But yeah, I’ve, I’ve worked on, uh, a lot of, you know, the projects have come out through Man V. There’s obviously London, so we’re, we’re somewhat connected with them. Like there’s certain pitches and different projects and stuff that we’ll work with London on. Um, but a lot of the time, you know, LA office is working on projects and London’s doing their own thing as well.
Chad Ashley: 00:45:12 How many people are in the, uh, the Los Angeles office and the London office?
Zachary Corzine: 00:45:17 Um, London I think is almost 30. And then, uh, LA, how many are we now? I think like 14.
Chad Ashley: 00:45:26 So not, not huge.
Zachary Corzine: 00:45:27 No, no, no, not huge at all. We’ve, we’ve grown a lot. Like when, when I got brought on, I got brought on with, uh, three other people as well. Joe Ball, which I think you’ve worked with in the past.
Chad Ashley: 00:45:38 Joe Ball. He’s my boy.
Zachary Corzine: 00:45:39 Yup.
Chad Ashley: 00:45:40 Yeah, we worked together a long time ago. Back at DK.
Zachary Corzine: 00:45:42 Yeah. Yeah. Um, and then, um, Brendi Wedinger, um, started then, uh, Bryan, which I guess people would probably know more on, uh, Instagram or whatever. Uh, Bryan is Bryanplust and then Brendi is BrendiLW. And all four of us got kind of brought on around the same time. It was kinda like Man V LA 2.0 sort of deal where they were trying to just, you know, kinda bolster up the ranks and everything. So, uh, when I started it was, it was even smaller. Like that was like a big push to kind of bring people in. And, uh, since then we’ve hired, uh, I guess like three additional people and we have, uh, we have Aaron Covrett in now, he’s been freelancing with us for awhile.
Chad Ashley: 46:27 That guy’s so good.
Zachary Corzine: 46:28 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 46:28 You guys got a killer team over there.
Zachary Corzine: 46:30 Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s been, it’s been amazing man. Like it’s, it’s cool to like coming in kinda during that, that like 2.0 push sort of deal. Cause you really feel like, you know, you’re, you’re part of this small team that’s trying to, trying to build this thing as it moves along and you really get to like contribute to the trajectory and really like, you know, grow to be, to be a part of the team. And we’ve just been, uh, continuing to do that and, and it’s, it’s been a, it’s been a good journey so far. For sure.
Chad Ashley: 47:00 Yeah. I feel like that team, you guys are also pretty close. It seems like you guys hang out outside of office hours and play Dungeons and Dragons and whatnot. Uh oh, Trevor’s calling my phone right now.
Zachary Corzine: 47:13 Oh is he?
Chad Ashley: 47:13 He knew we were about to talk about him, he was like calling me. I’m gonna miss that call. Um, yeah, which I think is great. I feel like, um, I, I’ve always loved the office camaraderie that that happens under, uh, intense deadlines and creative stress. I feel like it’s bad as those moments can sometimes be, it can sort of bond you, uh, in a way that that just doesn’t happen in sort of regular freelance interactions. I feel like a full time team together hashing it out, you just end up, I dunno, you end up getting a better chemistry sometimes.
Zachary Corzine: 47:50 Yeah, totally agree.
Chad Ashley: 47:52 It’s just, yeah.
Zachary Corzine: 47:52 And then also, I think that also takes a bit to foster, you know, like it like it takes a bit for your team to kinda learn everyone’s strengths, learn, like you know, where the overlap is and stuff and just kind of, uh, get the like synergy going. It doesn’t, I don’t think it’s like a thing that’s easy. And it’s also one of those things where like when the right group of people come together, that’s when kind of like magical things happen, but you can’t like predict that or force that. And it just, you kinda just, um, yeah, it’s definitely like a, a work in progress kind of thing. And um, and I, and I agree, I think like, it’s important that the people feel like they like and respect each other. And we’ll, you know, hang out outside of work as well. And, uh, you kinda just build a little family and a community and, um, it definitely feels like that, like.
Chad Ashley: 48:43 That’s great.
Zachary Corzine: 48:44 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 48:44 I think that’s the stuff man. Like if you, when I, um, when I was leading a team, uh, back in the day, uh, my biggest thing was like, like I want to create an environment where everybody feels sort of protected to do the work that they want to do.
Zachary Corzine: 48:59 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 49:00 And really, you know, it’s, it was my job to sort of like create the environment to let that sort of foster all the stuff that you, you know, you mentioned, I just was like, you know, building the, the room in which I would hope this would happen. And,
Zachary Corzine: 49:16 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 49:17 Luckily it did. So when, whenever you have good, talented people like that, and you create an environment where they feel comfortable and they feel safe to create and do weird stuff or make mistakes and, uh, then I think it’s good. I think it’s a healthy thing.
Zachary Corzine: 49:29 Yeah. I agree.
Chad Ashley: 49:31 So let’s talk a little bit about your approach in cinema 4D. I feel like, um, I wanted to talk about this because I, I think from what I’ve seen of your work and definitely some of the early word coming back from people watching your training is like, wow, I, I hear a lot of the same things. It’s like, Oh, I never thought that Mograph could do that or I never thought I could do Mograph like that. Or what is this? What program is this? Um, you have a unique style. You tend to like come at things from a very, uh, a different perspective. Like I would say, and a lot of times it’s a much, it’s makes perfect sense, but it’s not always that method that you go where you, you tend to keep everything live and procedural and layering things up and it’s very hierarchical. Where did you learn that or did you just stumble on that?
Zachary Corzine: 50:30 Um, yeah, I guess I kind of stumbled on it a little bit. It’s just kind of, it’s one of those things where I guess it just comes from my like nature or my just kind of general approach to things and it just, it just always felt like the way that I like to work, uh, in general. And then within like cinema, just like I never, it never felt good to me like baking stuff down or doing like any, any steps that like were irreversible or that, yeah, weren’t like dynamically updateable or like it. I obviously you have to do that. And cinema isn’t the most, uh, fostering program for trying to do that. Like it’s not necessarily built for procedural systems.
Chad Ashley: 51:16 Well, I mean I would argue that it’s better at it than some having used Maya before. I would say it’s definitely, well before Bifrost at least. But yeah, I feel like I get what you’re saying though. But the thing is, is like, here’s what’s kind of crazy to me, and maybe I’m wrong on this, but you end up going to Man vs Machine where they’re pretty heavily into Houdini. I mean, that’s one of their big tools. How are you not, like, given how your nature is to keep everything procedural and you’re sort of pushing cinema in a way that maybe most people wouldn’t think to.
Zachary Corzine: 51:54 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 51:55 How have you not just like, Oh, I’m just gonna use Houdini?
Zachary Corzine: 51:58 Well, I’m like currently and forever on my Houdini journey, so I, you know, use it kind of where I can and where, um, it, you know, my current understanding allows me to, um, but I, I just like having both and just kind of being able to utilize whatever tool feels right for me. And maybe that’s not, you know, there, there’s definitely some Houdini dude who could do what I’m doing in cinema, but just for me and my kind of process, sometimes it feels right to kind of keep it within C4D. um, but yeah, I think like, I, I currently try to just branch out as much as possible. Like within C4D I’ll do a lot of stuff that’s just like native or even X-Particles or, yeah. Use Houdini on a shot. It kinda just depends on what I’m trying to tackle. And you know, my own current skill set and everything kind of taken into account.
Chad Ashley: 52:57 Has Trevor been pressuring you as much as he’s been pressuring?
Zachary Corzine: 53:00 Yeah. Well, like I think the thing is too is like I, whenever I do use Houdini and continue to use it and learn it, like I’m sure eventually I’ll get to the point where, um, where I use, you know, cinema less and less and just kinda utilize it where a scene set up and lighting and, and rendering and everything. But, uh.
Chad Ashley: 53:26 Yeah, that’s a pretty unique thing that I think a lot of people, um, maybe they know this. I, I maybe let’s ’em him anyway, so I know that. So Man V uses a pretty mixed pipeline.
Zachary Corzine: 53:31 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 53:31 You’ve got a lot of cinema, you’ve got a lot of Houdini, uh, your, your basic Adobe stuff, I assume.
Zachary Corzine: 53:37 Yep.
Chad Ashley: 53:38 Um, now I think most people would assume that like, Oh, they did that entire thing in Houdini, but that’s not always the case, right?
Zachary Corzine: 53:47 No, no, it’s, it’s like, especially cause you know, with such a small team, uh, we, like I kinda said it, it’s important that everyone, uh, covers like a different aspect and that like we’re all generalists first and foremost. So we all, you know, can kind of, uh, pick up a lot of things, uh, from other people. And it just allows that kind of adaptability and things to kind of flow throughout the studio. But like everyone, everyone definitely has their specific aspect that they’re focused on and that they’re strongest with. So we have a few people that are just like rock star designers, really solid designers that will just do like killer style frames, killer like look development stuff, but don’t use Houdini much. Uh, if at all. Uh, there’s a lot of people who kind of mix of both, which kind of includes me where I’m just a little bit all over the place.
Zachary Corzine: 54:43 Uh, and then, you know, there’s technical directors like Trevor who’s just like all, all about a hundred percent Houdini. Um, and, but you know, still uses cinema to, I think that’s the kind of, uh, cohesive factor there, uh, is.
Chad Ashley: 54:58 The connective tissue it sounds like.
Zachary Corzine: 54:59 Yeah, exactly. That’s the kind of connective tissue is that like we, we, everything kind of flows through cinema that’s, that’s kind of the workhorse. So that’s kind of the like central node that everything flows back into. Um, so that, that’s what kinda ties everything together. So even, you know, people who, the TDs who are working in Houdini that ultimately, you know, comes back into cinema and that’s where we do all our final setup and lighting and everything.
Chad Ashley: 55:28 So I imagine when you first saw fields and the new field forces, you were probably like, wow, this is, this is going to be good for me.
Zachary Corzine: 55:42 Yeah. Right. Yeah, it was, it was funny cause it was after I gave that, um, talk, uh, Rick Barrett was like, Hey, I need to show you something. And like took me behind the booth, we’re working on fields and
Chad Ashley: 55:51 You’re like, I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Zachary Corzine: 55:54 Yeah. And he was like, super excited. And I was like, man, I should’ve gotten this to me like a few months ago. I could have a really made use of it. Uh, cause I think my talk at the time was like very, if I had fields it would have made a lot of those things.
Chad Ashley: 56:08 Yeah I remember there was like a ton of effectors and like all sorts of stuff going on.
Zachary Corzine: 56:11 That’s, that’s the one thing man. It’s like fields, if anything is just kind of like unified a lot of that stuff and just made a lot of the setups so much lighter cause you can just have 20 different being all driven by, you know, the same fall off. You’re not like it’s not tied in to.
Chad Ashley: 56:28 That’s, that’s huge.
Zachary Corzine: 56:29 Yeah. It, that just makes it a big difference. So that’s kinda the main thing. I feel like everything else, like obviously having the like essentially like layer adjustments that you can do on top and blending modes and stuff, um, is, is useful. But I think like primarily the whole thing of just like opening that up to like be able to not have to do all these cumbersome, uh, setups that like really don’t need to be where you were essentially before copying the same thing over and over again and changing like one parameter and you’re like,
Chad Ashley: 56:58 Yeah.
Zachary Corzine: 56:58 this doesn’t need to be.
Chad Ashley: 57:00 Then you’re lost. You know, you try to open that file up a month later and you’re like, what was I even doing? I don’t even know if this is, yeah, I will say that my, my criticism on on fields and field forces and stuff is, has nothing to do with the features themselves, but I do wish there was a node interface.
Zachary Corzine: 57:16 Dude yes. Yes. It needs.
Chad Ashley: 57:17 Because it’s just come on man. Like the layer based approach. I understand that. Like I understand that that was a, that was a UX decision that was made because it was the most familiar and it was going to be the easiest to sort of on board people. But I feel like, and maybe I’m crazy, but I feel like there’s a whole generation of artists coming up understanding nodes and they’re just like nodes are no big deal man. Like I get it. You know stuff flows in, stuff flows out.
Zachary Corzine: 57:44 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 57:45 I got it. So you got to have it. I feel like that gotta bring that to X-Particles too. I feel like that’s another one that I’m like,
Zachary Corzine: 57:53 Totally.
Chad Ashley: 57:53 I can’t, like the second I try to get too complicated in X-Particles, I just throw my hands up. I’m like, all right, I’m lost. I don’t even know what I’m doing here. It’s like stuff everywhere. I don’t know what that,
Zachary Corzine: 58:00 Yeah, it just gets
Chad Ashley: 58:00 It’s too much.
Zachary Corzine: 58:00 Yeah. It gets convoluted super quick and yeah, I agree man. It just, it, it should be node-based especially cause like, like you’re saying with like, you know, having fields kind of, uh, trying to be more accessible to pass users when it should be, you know, moving towards the future of users and kind of setting that precedent for, um, for people who are coming in fresh just because then that like slowly moves the industry more in that direction and stuff are people just purely who are using cinema or whatever. But like that it should, you know, I I definitely like wish that it had a node based system and same thing with X-Particles. It definitely is like, it just not like easily a translatable thing as well. Like you’re just,
Chad Ashley: 58:49 It’s not.
Zachary Corzine: 58:49 You’re learning something that’s kind of arbitrary and kind of like a specific way to work that doesn’t necessarily like, yeah, it doesn’t translate.
Chad Ashley: 58:59 There’s a level of abstraction that is unnecessary.
Zachary Corzine: 59:03 Yeah, exactly.
Chad Ashley: 59:03 Because it’s not like, and I would, I would argue like I do like some of the aspect of the, of the fields layer based approach. I mean for simple stuff it makes sense. But I do think that you’re adding, you’re adding a level of abstraction. That doesn’t necessarily mean a lot.
Chad Ashley: 59:25 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 59:25 I feel like in a node-based environment where the users like dropping down, let’s say a random field or something with a random field node and they want to subtract something out of it, it makes a lot of sense in a node base workflow to just like add a subtract node and then plug your whatever it is that’s going to be subtracting into that.
Zachary Corzine: 59:47 Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 59:48 And then, you know, being able to pipe off different areas and reuse things and it just makes a lot of sense. I hope. I hope that someday happens. I think their node-based material editor is amazing. It looks great. It’s, I’ve used it. Um, and some training, I hope that someday they figure out how to get it into the other renderers because ultimately that must’ve been tough to like develop such a killer looking material node in interface for a renderer that most people probably aren’t using or maybe not even the people that were using it probably wouldn’t want to use nodes. So it’s kind of like ugh tough, but hopefully it will be able to get to use that soon.
Chad Ashley: 01:00:30 Yeah, definitely.
Chad Ashley: 01:00:32 Uh, alright. Well man, I feel like we covered a lot here.
Zachary Corzine: 01:00:37 Yeah we did.
Chad Ashley: 01:00:37 Um, so is there any sort of uh, I want to talk a little bit about the training before we go and, and mostly like what, what do you hope people out there watching this training? What do you hope they get out of this at the end of the day?
Zachary Corzine: 01:00:49 Yeah, so I think like originally when I was working on it and speaking with you about like developing the training, um, I like ultimately, you know, wanted to make sure that it was like project-based and more top level. That felt like a kind of comprehensive approach to like client work and developing conceptual work for clients and like not having something that feels like universal and adaptable to whatever specific workflow or whatever specific programs you’re using. It’s, it ultimately should be more about, you know, the, the process and proper practices. And, um, and I, I just hope that it’s, you know, valuable for people in that regard. That it just gives a sense of, you know, my personal process when approaching work. And I don’t think this is necessarily, you know, uh, dependent on the, the tools I use at all.
Zachary Corzine: 01:01:50 Um, and then specifically with like the procedural system stuff, I just, I like, I really want to just inspire people to, you know, be as procedural as possible. Like even within cinema 4D. And hopefully, you know, for a lot of people, maybe this is like a stepping stone into more procedural setups that brings them, you know, more towards Houdini and, and can just kind of like, I think the more, you know, the more we can kind of move and along that path, uh, the better. And, and I think specifically with like some of the approaches within C4D, um, there’s just some stuff that I haven’t seen people do. And I think that, yeah, you can be more procedural than you think you can. And hopefully like that’ll just kind of like, uh, open things up as well to, to just kind of moving more towards that approach.
Zachary Corzine: 01:02:40 So that’s, that’s really what I was focused on. What the training is, is just keeping it, you know, project-based. Um, and just really, you know, I, I think like the, the, the, like, you know, the animal, the like looping animation that like we’ve posted that is kind of, uh, been on like GSG Plus, uh, uh, as well is like, that’s kind of the, the enticer to get people into this stuff. And I think maybe people see that and there’s like, Oh, how do I create that thing? But it’s really not about creating that thing, right? Like it’s not.
Chad Ashley: 01:03:11 Right. It’s about thinking, a way of thinking.
Zachary Corzine: 01:03:14 Yeah. And, and, and you shouldn’t just like use it, I didn’t want it to just be like a tutorial. Like it’s like, okay, press this, press this, this is how you get this kind of thing. Like I want, like, I obviously felt like I had some obligation to do that, to like show specifically how.
Chad Ashley: 01:03:28 Well, I mean, at the end of the day, somebody does want to make something.
Zachary Corzine: 01:03:32 Yeah, yeah, exactly. It’s like, you, you want to like tease that in. And that’s also why, you know, I, uh, have a section of going through, you know, look development and doing style frames and stuff and we provide those like scene files so you can check those out and everything and like, but again, it’s like, it’s not really about that. Like I, I didn’t want it to be like, this is a tutorial of specifically how to make this thing. Like we have too much of that and I don’t, I don’t entirely think that that’s really valuable cause it’s not, it’s not teaching the thinking or the thought processes or you know, the design practices that you can apply to projects. It’s not, it’s not giving like fundamental understanding that will elevate kind of everyone and just, and just translate to, to anything. You know, like it’s, those are the things that are infinitely more valuable. So hopefully like, you know, you can, well I wanted it to be something that, that is not just as tutorial. It’s, it’s more,
Chad Ashley: 01:04:30 It’s definitely not.
Zachary Corzine: 01:04:30 Of a comprehensive of approach. Which, uh, yeah. So I hope that it’s valuable that people, I, I really was like, I’ve kind of had this in my head a little bit for, for a while and, and it feels nice to kind of check off that box and feel like I, I, uh, was able to put this out and, and kind of move on from there.
Chad Ashley: 01:04:49 Dude, yeah it’s great stuff.
Zachary Corzine: 01:04:51 Yeah. Yeah.
Chad Ashley: 01:04:52 I mean, everybody that that’s been watching it has been saying really, excuse me, really positive things and I, and, and it’s, no, it’s no surprise. It’s a, it’s a great, it’s a great piece of training. And like you said, it’s, I, and I agree. I feel like the most, the most valuable training isn’t necessarily showing you A over B equals C or whatever. You know, I do think there’s a place for that training and I, and I do enjoy that training too when I’m learning a specific tool, I’m learning some software, but the technique stuff is always. I have a piece of training on, on Greyscalegorilla Plus too, which is about my process and doing product renders and stuff like that. And I think that that stuff is great because I would always, I always loved watching other people work, whether they’re just doing, you know, setting up a scene file or maybe they’re just a making a folder structure or whatever it is because you get a nugget, you feel, you see something in there that can apply to your work and, and you can take that and put it in your toolkit.
Chad Ashley: 01:05:52 And, and I think there’s a lot of gems in, in what you’re doing over on Greyscalegorilla Plus. And I’ve, I know I’ve taken quite a few things already from that, from that training,
Zachary Corzine: 01:06:03 Nice.
Chad Ashley: 01:06:03 Just the way that you approach things procedurally. There’s some tools on there that I didn’t even know about. Um, so I, I highly recommend everybody checking it out. We’ll put a link in the show notes. Um, if you haven’t checked out what, what Zach has done over there, please do. Um, anyway, well, um, dude, thank you so much for being on the show.
Zachary Corzine: 01:06:24 Yeah, thanks for having me, man. It was fun.
Chad Ashley: 01:06:26 Yeah, this was a good, good episode, everybody out there. Thanks for listening. Be sure to give us a review and always helps our ranking. Um, and you know, share it with a friend. Why not? Right. Um, anyway, thanks again Zach. Really great talking to you.
Zachary Corzine: 01:06:42 Thanks for having me.
Chad Ashley: 01:06:44 All right everybody, we will see you in the next podcast.
Zachary Corzine: 01:06:47 See ya.