Interview- Tyson Ibele

Tyson Ibele

Contact:  Wellington, New Zealand

How was 2009 for Tyson Ibele?

2009 has been good so far. I just finished up my last year of University, I got a few films under my belt (1 animated and several live-action) and I'm ramping up production on a few more.

When did you start working in 3D and why?

I started working in 3d when I was about 14 years old. I got into it because a friend at school had shown me some free 3d software, and I just thought it was so cool that I could move 3d objects around on the computer screen. After that I was hooked.

You've being called an "animation savant", "3D Studio Max genius"...What's your strenght?

I think being a pretty well-rounded generalist is a strength of mine. Because I didn't really focus on just one area of VFX production when I was younger, I eventually developed a skillset that covers a wide range of different cg tasks.

What's your most recent award/ or latest project?

My most recent award was for my film 'Hemlock', which won the grand prize for the 2009 'Steampunk' CGSociety contest. 'Hemlock' can be viewed on my website, and it's about a guy who finds the fountain of life in an old cave.

Watch the movie.

Version 0.52 of Building Generator is out! Tell us a little bit about this project...for those of us who don't know what it is and what we can do with it. How do you install it, do you offer tutorials?

Version 0.5 of my Building Generator script for 3d Studio Max allows you to easily generate fully procedural buildings, neighborhoods and cities on the fly--and it's free! It's easy to fact, no installation is required at all. Just open 3d studio max, run the script and're ready to make buildings. I plan to put some tutorials out in the future, which will outline the overall features of Building Generator, but I'm not sure when.

It has TONS of new features!

With older versions of Building Generator, the settings you chose for your building were applied on every floor and every side of the building. Now with the new version, you can create layers which contain settings that apply to only certain floors. Also, within each layer is a per-wall control, allowing you to specify which wall of the building the settings will be applied to. This feature makes it easy to optimize buildings, if you don't want details created on every side.

The layer manager works by reading your layers from bottom to top, and using the top-most settings for each specific wall/floor. This makes it easy to define overall settings and then create layers tweaking specific details on specific floors. There are also controls for copying or removing layers, and shifting layers up and down in the stack.
The door layer manager works similar to the wall layer manager...the main difference is that doors are only created on the first floor, while windows and other details can be created on any floor. The door layer manager allows you to control which side(s) of the buildings you want your door(s) on, as well as what position along the wall you'd like the door to appear.

Download Building Generator version 0.52

See what Building Generator can do

Render made by Diego Munhoz Ferreira

Script interface

Did you also work for Fruitless Efforts?

As for Fruitless Efforts, yes...I worked on it with the other guys at MAKE. It was a pet project of Andrew Chesworth's for a few years until it was decided that it should be developed into a full little film. I think it turned out great! Andrew and everyone else is really happy with it too.

Watch Fruitless Efforts

What's your favorite movie director/producer?

My vote for favorite director is probably a tie between David Lynch and Chris Cunningham. Both of their work is really great, although in totally separate arenas. Cunningham specializes in weird and disturbing music videos, while Lynch specialized in weird and disturbing feature-length films.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years I hope to have produced a few more films, and continue working for MAKE. I don't have any super big dreams other than to keep pumping out films because that's what I love to do. Although, it's been fun living around the world (I've lived in 3 countries in the past five years) I might do some more traveling.

What was the biggest challenge you faced since you started working in 3D?

The biggest challenge has probably been learning to utilize the artistic critiques of others and working under pressure. When I first started working for a studio, it was hard getting used to deadlines and clients telling you how they feel the final product of a project should look. 
Before doing CG professionally, I could just lounge around and create whatever I wanted....but that's certainly not something I can do now, when working on advertising stuff where the client has specific things they want to see, and the deadline is tight!

Who would you pick to spend a day with?

If I could spend a day with anyone in the industry, it would have to be with Ron Fedkiw. The R&D stuff he does at Stanford University is really incredible. I wouldn't be able to understand any of the technical aspects of what he does, but it would be fascinating just watching him and his colleagues work on their latest projects, I'm sure.

What's lacking in your portfolio?

Probably the weakest area of my portfolio is my modelling skills. I just never really learned to model things properly (setup proper edgeloops or whatever) so I always have a hard time with it....especially character modelling.

If you had unlimited resources (from artists to money) what would you do?

If I had unlimited resources, I'd probably become a hermit and just make films for the rest of my life while living in a cave. :)

If your child wants to be a 3D artist what would you tell him?

If my child wanted to become a 3d artist, I'd think that's great! I'd support him/her all the way. Doing 3d is a great and rewarding career far, at least!