Interview - Evermotion VFX
Hello and thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Tell us a bit about your fresh new company: EvermotionVFX
Evermotion VFX was born as a natural evolution of www.evermotion.org - world known as main architectural visualisation studio as much as one of the largest CG resource and 3D education sites. Over the years we have been working to create a world famous brand in the architectural market. At the same time we have devoted a large part of our work to more artistic CG projects. Finally we had decided that it was the time to officially remove the VFX studio activity from the portal www.evermotion.org. Although it is still important for us to conduct informational and educational portal and 3d model store, many of our customers did not fully realize that we are also a CG studio. With the new brand Evermotion VFX it will be easier for us to reach a larger customer base.
You worked with clients ranging from architects to movie makers. How is the production process? Do you find it difficult to work on “somebody else’s vision”?
First of all, work on the vision of other people is a great fun. Of course artistic projects give us more satisfaction, but we approach with the same attention to every project, even to the modest architectural visualization. The production process varies depending on the project. Architectural orders are much simpler and easier to implement, because usually we get ready references and a clear architect's vision that we must create. In artistic animation it is more personal matter, we usually begins with a simple outline of the project in the simple form which we are consulting step by step with the client - in short, from general to specific.
What are the challenges when working for international clients?
Fortunately in today's era of technology the problem with communication disappeared. Most orders can be done without personal contact with the client, what makes international customers' orders easier to make. An important aspect are the business traditions of specific nationalities. For example, it is completely different to work with Asians than with Europeans or Americans. The only obstacle at the present day is a time zone, some studios we work with begin to work when we finish it which in practice means working after hours, fortunately, such situations don't happen very often.
What programs/plugins/scripts do you use?
The main 3d software in which we work is 3ds max. Among other programs we also use Blender, Z-brush, Fume FX or Krakatoa. Depending on the project we are using for rendering Vray, Fryrender, Maxwell, Arion. Of course it is necessary to use also Photoshop and After Effects in each project. For many projects we use our own plugins or scripts created for the specific order. We invite you also to familiarize yourself with our offbeat project - a free rendering engine NOX!
How do you keep up with all the changes in technology?
Continuous learning and development is the foundation in this business. We realize that to neglect technological aspects may delay our work and be the beginning of the end of our business. Fortunately, in our work we are driven by our passion which help us to absorb any news on the market. Here is an indispensable means of internet so that even during the break between renders we can familiarize themselves with any CG news. Also remember that the portal www.evermotion.org provides CG fans with many information from the CG world :)
Your team has architects, programmers, designers. How involved is the interview process at Evermotion?
The primary criterion for selection of people are their skills. The so-called "know how" is the most important in this industry, and every other aspect is secondary. Of course, each person is treated individually - many of our artists did not have an outstanding 3D workshop, but they showed us that they have something unusual, it could be an artistic sense or passions that convinced us to take them to the company. This approach pays off, because usually after a few months of work these people improve their skills and become a motor force of our studio. CG Business is in 100% based on the artists and the most important is faith in the people who make up our studio. In our opinion it is most important to create for people comfortable conditions for work and development so that their work becomes a pleasure.
Having seen so many portfolios on evermotion.org, what do you believe is a must that an artist has in his portfolio or skills?
Portfolio is a showcase of each artist, so they should include there only the best works. It must primarily intrigue and show the level which the author presents. It makes no sense to clutter it with plenty of ordinary work, because it can only deter potential client / employer. To prepare a good portfolio artist must concentrate on his best sides - and that's what he should expose. The issue of skills is quite simple - the higher the better. Although the artists in the industry usually specialize as modelers, animators, rendering and composition specialists it is important to have an extensive knowledge in each area – it definitely makes the workflow easier and faster.
Can you give us an insight on the Secret FX TrainingDVD? What can we expect?
The Secret FX Training DVD is directed to the intermediate 3ds max users, the main topic of this tutorial are special effects such as simulations, particle creation and use of plugins like Fume FX, Rayfire, Pulldownit. We try not only to teach the use of these plugins, but also pass on many useful tips and tricks that come out from our experience. Tutorial also includes many tips which help to create and render large complex scenes in 3dsmax. We invite everyone to familiarize yourself with the product on the page: http://www.evermotion.org/modelshop/show_product/the-secret-fx-training-dvd/6360/0/0/
What is the typical starting point in a 3D/VFX project? How long does it usually take?
Each project is approached individually. In fact, the only constant element that links orders is the accurate consultation with the client. Depending on the project it may take longer or shorter, but it is important to get an accurate vision of what we have to work on.
What other supporting departments do you typically involve on an average project?
We don't involve any supporting departments on an average project. We are self-sufficient, we have in our studio specialists in almost every area of 3D graphic.
How do you start working on a 3D project? Do you use references or just imagination?
Of course, references are extremely important. Most of the concepts is based on the references. Sometimes they are delivered by the customer and provide an accurate vision of the end result, sometimes they just automatically lead us to the climate and the general outline. In many cases, it rests on our shoulders to create concept arts that help the client to refine his vision. Each project is discussed in detail by graphic designers who are working on it. Very often it is a turbulent process, but allows for a creative approach to the project.
Do you use the same techniques from one project to another? What is your company’s strongest point (film, advertising, interactive, games, architecture)?
Yes and no, we have obviously developed our own pipelines that we keep or adapt to specific projects, but there are projects that require a fresh approach to the problem. Architectural design projects, different types of environemnt modeling and various kinds of VFX are our strongest point in this moment. Of course, it is much nicer to make art projects than purely commercial. Fortunately, even visualization may be presented in a truly artistic convention.
Was there ever something you wanted to do in a project and couldn’t? (production wise) Which design do you believe was the most difficult to achieve?
We haven't got such a project, if we decide to make something we bring it to the end. Most of the projects that we do are not simple, but the most memorable project was to create very high quality fabric materials for the Japanese company. We had to create so accurate displacement maps which with even the greatest close-up imitated the real fabric. It was a very laborious and precise work, but we have developed for this project special techniques which allowed us to achieve excellent results.
Which render engine would you recommend?
Each rendering engine has been developed for a particular purpose. Also each CG artist has his favorite renderers .. In our studio we use V-ray the most frequently because of its speed. In this issue we are a little limited by the 3D software that we use because a lot of good rendering engines doesn't work with 3dsmax.
How important is it to have a proper education in this field?
Artist's skills are the most important, less important is how an artist got them. We know many CG artists who had no specialized training and are distinguished in this proffesion. Of course, it really helps to finish art school. The knowledge of the composition, dynamics and color of the scene gained there is very useful at work. The history of art is also very important element. These things help us to look more broadly at our job.
What do you have up your sleeve for future projects?
Of course, like every studio we are planning to create our own animations. This is the best way to get a wide publicity in the industry. We are currently working on a project that we hope will appeal to people.
If you had the opportunity to spend a day with anyone from this industry, who would it be?
We would rather prefer to visit one of the leading companies in the industry. A day spent at the headquarters of Digic Pictures or Blur would be a unique experience.