Hi guys, I am goin to regularly spotlight past winners of FXWARS CHALLENGES.
Lets start with the winner of the first challenge Derby-Q Salano!
Here are the animations from first animation.!
>>MOV<< (http://home.scarlet.be/~ste5en/trebuchetdemo.mov) (2.4 MEGS)
>>AVI<< (http://home.scarlet.be/~ste5en/trebuchetdemo.avi) (1.5 MEGS)
>>MOV<< (http://www.anima-lunae.com/trebuchetdemo.mov) (2.4 MEGS)
>>AVI << (http://www.anima-lunae.com/trebuchetdemo.avi) (1.5 MEGS)
FXWars! Catapult! (Trebuchet) : Derby-Q Salano (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=155384&highlight=trebuchet)
1) Tell us a bit about yourself:
My parents named me Wim Coene when I first started to terrorize them in November 1982. I've lived my whole life in or around Ghent, an incredibly beautiful city in Belgium (that speck of nothing between Germany, France and the North Sea). Besides 3D, I have tons of other interests but 3D has always taken a big chunk of my life since I was about 16, though I did study Industrial Engineering for a couple of years, mainly with the goal to acquire some knowledge in physics, mathematics and mechanical science, but due to my busy schedule and my lack of interest for the subjects that followed in the 3rd and 4th grade, I never finished these studies.
Other then 3D I am, as most of us, an enormous movie fan. Ranging from pretty mindless comedy to the more intelligent sophisticated drama and a bit from Fantasy to Science Fiction. Movies like Sleepy Hollow (Picking out one Burton), Pulp Fiction, Kung Fu Hustle, Spy Game, The Name of the Rose, Collateral, Snatch and about 200 others qualify for my all-time favorite movie. Though especially Tim Burtons are welcome in my collection, and Johnny Depp is, not surprisingly, most definitely my favorite actor. Close seconds are for instance Brad Pitt, Keanu Reeves and John Travolta.
2) How did you get the CGbug?
I didn't get it overnight, but when I was about 12 years old I found myself unnaturally interested in two movies in particular. "The Mask" certainly made a heavy impression. Although I was very young, this new technology (and Jim’s entrance in Blockbuster cinema) got me inspired, but not as much as Tim Burton's "the Nightmare before Christmas" did after I had seen it on a Christmas party. At that time, for me it was all the same wonderful technology that gave so much more then drawing, though I never thought I would actually venture in that area. It wasn't after I had read an article about Alias|Wavefront Maya in a computer magazine, that I actually started exploring 3D...
Years later I finally stumbled upon a course where I could learn Maya. After doing 2 courses the teacher asked me to become his successor and obviously I took the job. I’m still teaching the same classes every week, though between the lessons I’ve been working in production.
In the end it was the build up interest for the fantastic, like Burton’s Nightmare, in combination with my first contact with beautiful 3D work, as I saw in that article about Maya. I then realized there was a means to create the impossible, not bound to material or physical laws, to be my own god, to create whatever I wanted, however I wanted, in my vision, according to my imagination. I used to draw, but a piece of paper eventually became lost, stacked away or just worn down, poems were a good addition to that, but it was only movies that satisfied my need to express myself.
3) How did you found out about CGtalk/CGSociety?
As with almost everything in my cg life, it was that teacher that pointed me here. After being a loyal observer for months, I joined in 2002 and I have enjoyed every day on it, obviously I had to join CGSociety from the moment it was available. In my time here I have got to know some of the most wonderful people this world has to offer for me. I owe CGTalk a great deal of friendship. CGTalk also got me a base of knowledge I wouldn’t have found anywhere else and the ability to get feedback from the masters all over the world definitely kept me a loyal visitor.
4) Tell us a bit about your FX wars entry.
The contest started in my time of looking for jobs and doing nothing much except creating demo reels and personal projects. A time I miss sometimes I must admit. Joining the challenge was no hard decision because I really enjoy rigid body’s dynamics and cloth simulations. (Actually I am a modeler at heart, since I never let myself work on anything else but modeling until I found my mesh good enough to be textured, being a perfectionist that took me more then 3 years.)
While working on a textured model of Matthew McConaughey as seen in “Reign of Fire” I decided to put a deadline on my plate and join the “Dynamic Trebuchet” challenge. Having an education in physics, I was really pleased to have found a useful purpose for my time spend behind a school desk, now I feel blessed to have gotten the education I got and since I am teaching I will never make fun of a teacher again :P.
I never intended to try and win the contest but I gave it a lot of attention anyway. In retrospect I think my entry to be incomplete and inefficiently produced and I even started redoing parts of it, now ages later it seems… I ended up with a lack of time for a decent finish for the challenge, I send in my somewhat incomplete entry and after seeing Cory take the lead in the voting, I ceased keeping track of the vote and after it had finished it was my girlfriend who send me the happy news, I must admit I was quite surprised! I think I should have spend more time on the boulder crashing into the tower then on animating the 16 characters who initially wandered around an worked on the three trebuchets I placed. I think I would have created and animated an army to go with the assault if time hadn’t run out on me :). Cory’s entry was very nice and yet simple, focusing on the dynamics and not on everything around it, which was an important lesson back then. I notice how my views regarding this have changed over the past years.
5) What was the impact of winning the FXWARS?
I was happy to have won something on CGTalk, although back then the challenge wasn’t that big. I never tried to participate in any of the other challenges, I don’t think a Boxx will be send to my door anytime soon :P. But it was a wonderfull experience and I sometimes like to put that wee little logo of the challenge award on one of my demo reels, it certainly was a motivation for my life in CGI. I hope to get fired at some point so I can make some time for another FXWars challenge :)
6) How is big is CG in Belgium?
Very tiny to be honest, but there's some major studios mostly specialized in commercials and compositing (in our country a company of 20 people is major). There's one in Ghent of about 20 people (I think); in my time there I was really driven by the guys that work there, they are, each and every single one of them, very talented and they have been producing very nice material for a long long time. And it's been very nice to work there, I've met Jacques Defontaine there, a very talented 3D artist, known on cgtalk as "The Ripper" and I really learned a lot while I was there.
There's a "major" studio in Brussels of about 40 people which specializes in stereoscopy projects. I know there's a company in Antwerp that's supposed to be decent, but more into compositing although I don't know much about them. Other then that, I think that's about it honestly. So "big" in Belgium... not at all but it's growing. The Maya community here has grown a lot since my predecessor started the classes. In the company I worked before, no less then 60% of the people there had been teached Maya in those courses. At the moment, quite a lot of people go to France or England to get educated, but next year a dutch school near where I live is going to start with their cg classes, in fulltime education, not in the evening like the courses I'm teaching, so I think it's going the right direction. If they would only teach Maya instead of 3D Studio Max :P
7) Are there any art pieces/website you want us to spotlight?
There's been a few key role models for me since I started 3D. I didnt find any before I joined CGTalk so for that I'm gratefull. At the very beginning of my 3D journey I followed the work of Steven Stahlberg quite closely, no introduction needed I'm sure. His hard work and insightfull thinking are definitely his strengths, this made me work hard and reflect on what I was doing. About a year later I found the work of Peter Syomka who I admired for his eye for detail and especially for his attention for the right edgelooping on detail. Something that I hadn't really reflected on since Steven's work is always a bit stylized. I studied Syomka's Ana for quite a while and then after another few months my gaze was drawn towards the fabulous work of Steven Giesler and Fransisco Cortina. I have to name them together, because I can hardly seperate who did what and since they usually worked together on the pieces I know I guess it's only fair. By then it was the quality texturing that came together with the incredible modeling. Next to the model's topology it was especially the realism towards body proportions that really caught my attention, the right amount of imperfection made it look perfect and since that moment, Jue hasalways been a very good source of inspiration.
Finally, there's just one more source of motivation. The World Of Warcraft Intro is for me one of the most important animations of all time. It's distinct taste gives me a goal in my 3D journey. Not that I plan to go work at Blizzard any time soon (it would be nice to do so though), but the, almost impeccable, cinematic surely throws my jaw to the floor and my eyes out of it's sockets everytime I see it. For me, even besides the Final Flight of The Osiris and the Onimusha 3 intro it still is my absolute favourite, with the two above as close seconds!
The person that made me realize I have a wacom pen was without a doubt Linda Bergkvist, who ofcourse needs no introduction. She inspired me like no one ever did before and for the first time in years I started drawing 2D again. Those photoshop skills surely have come in handy being hired now as a texturer and though I surely enjoyed the skills of Feng Zhu and Yanick Dusseault (Dusso), it was only her way of thinking, her imagination and her interests that I could relate to, as a result of this, I find myself lost in her drawings each and every time.
I guess those are the artists who were my main influences, sources of inspiration and knowledge for the past few years. They are all CGTalk artists, as I said, outside of this wonderfull forum, there's little I got to know that wasn't allready on here
Another big one for me, is plugging the work of new talent. It is very rewarding for me their threads getting thousands of hits, and watching the reaction of the artists.