Meet the Artist: Christopher Nichols

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Old 02 February 2006   #91
Originally Posted by pisces3d: hi
at first thank you for your time.I am new in cg,I want to go univesity next year and I want to study Mathematics,is it good idea,can it help me in future? or is it good idea I am going to study software engineer or Fine Arts?
thank you.


I notice that you are in Iran. Is that where you would be going to school? I am not sure how it works there, but in the US we do not have to select a major until the middle of our second year. I was taking CS, Math, Fine Arts, Physics.. not really knowing what I liked yet. The year and a half helped me make up my mind. Math is very helpful general way, not as much in a direct way such as medicine or law for example. I enjoy finding simple solutions to complex problems. Plus Math is a lot more visual than Computer Science.
 
Old 02 February 2006   #92
Hi Christopher,

Quick question, will you bother coming up with an other Dvd covering characters lighting, Fluids and Atmospherics lighting ? I'm sure lots of us would really appreciate if in there you'd share with us more of your experience with movies like TDAT, or even IRobots, which were involving many animated cg elements. I really found your previous Dvds interresting and educational, but I'm craving for tips and tricks that would cover the topics I previously mentionned.

thanks for your time,

Adriano Zanetti
 
Old 02 February 2006   #93
Hi,

As I know, by looking at your work, one of the best cg lighters I've ever found.
I'm an intermediate 3d modeler and wanna ask you something abt,
You're a 3d lighter and you have done it in several applications (ex. max, maya). That means if some one's doing 3d,if he wants to be skilled in one area, he doesn't have to stick to one programe to specialize on something (modeling, lighting, animation) like the way you do lighting (interior, exterior,gi etc.) in different softwares. IS that the way you've become a master 3d lighter ???

thanx.
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Old 02 February 2006   #94
Hello Christopher,

I would like to know more about your education as an architect and how it influenced your work in the VFX field.
I am not really familiar with the high education system in the USA, so if I may ask exactly how many years have you spent studying math and how many studying architecture.
How wide was your education as an architect, was it concentrated solely on the design aspect or had it touched the technical aspect like structural engineering?
I am studying architecture myself, you can only guess in what context judging by the location below my avatar. I am currently on my second year with three more to go, and I am covering stuff like structural engineering, city planning, a lot of technical stuff (which is mostly outdated) and some theory that I don't really find that interesting.

So do you feel that you've lost something by studying architecture, that maybe it would had been better spent by studying math some more, so maybe you could had explained the linear space issue better than Dan Lemmon (for example), or anything else for that matter that might have helped you improve your work in the VFX field?

You've mentioned something about fire ratings on doors that's why I thought that there was certainly something you didn't find interesting or useful in architecture, so I'd like to know how much there was to it.

I feel that I am wasting a lot of time studying architecture here. I really enjoy designing a house but what I enjoy even more is doing a 3d model and rendering it afterwards. I even enjoy thinking about the fact that someone should live there and that it should really be a house rather than a bunch of lines creating some concept sculpture thingy that looks cool but no one can actually use it (I consider this to be the emperors new suit).
But city planning, le Corbusier, the emphasis on boring, irrelevant and outdated stuff, banned usage of computers... I feel it could be better spent learning math, programming, improving drawing skills.

So, if even after getting my diploma as an architect, I decide to dedicate myself to VFX how severe a handicap will I have compared to someone who has dedicated himself completely to VFX much before me?
 
Old 02 February 2006   #95
Originally Posted by modelviz: Hi,

As I know, by looking at your work, one of the best cg lighters I've ever found.
I'm an intermediate 3d modeler and wanna ask you something abt,
You're a 3d lighter and you have done it in several applications (ex. max, maya). That means if some one's doing 3d,if he wants to be skilled in one area, he doesn't have to stick to one programe to specialize on something (modeling, lighting, animation) like the way you do lighting (interior, exterior,gi etc.) in different softwares. IS that the way you've become a master 3d lighter ???

thanx.


Yes... you constantly have to learn new software. In fact, many larger studios have their own rendering engines. Places like R+H, Blue Sky, PDI... even Sony Imageworks. While Sony uses renderman, they have their own interface to it so it is like learning new software. The most important thing to know is what lighting does and how it works rather then what settings to use. 3D software is the same thing. A place like PDI can't expect people to knwo their software as that is the only place that uses it. On the other hand going from non-GI to GI lighting is a different challenge (artistically speaking) as people have to learn to light differently. They have to learn to light like it is in the real world.
 
Old 02 February 2006   #96
Education is never a waste of time. It is up to you to take advantage of it. Lets take your example of city planning. I studied that too... think you would not use that in VFX? Think again. I has glad I had that skill when I was given the task of figuring out how to create cityscapes for New York on Day After Tomorrow. When they need someone to make generic buildings for a city shot, the one that can come up with it and design in a fast an believable way is the ex-architect. In terms of fire ratings on doors and stuff, that realization came when I was working as an architect not when I was in school. Another important thing that school teaching you is not what it teaches you, but that you learn how to learn. After learning so many things, you became good at getting the important information and figuring out how to digest it.

Originally Posted by pailhead: Hello Christopher,

I would like to know more about your education as an architect and how it influenced your work in the VFX field.
I am not really familiar with the high education system in the USA, so if I may ask exactly how many years have you spent studying math and how many studying architecture.
How wide was your education as an architect, was it concentrated solely on the design aspect or had it touched the technical aspect like structural engineering?
I am studying architecture myself, you can only guess in what context judging by the location below my avatar. I am currently on my second year with three more to go, and I am covering stuff like structural engineering, city planning, a lot of technical stuff (which is mostly outdated) and some theory that I don't really find that interesting.

So do you feel that you've lost something by studying architecture, that maybe it would had been better spent by studying math some more, so maybe you could had explained the linear space issue better than Dan Lemmon (for example), or anything else for that matter that might have helped you improve your work in the VFX field?

You've mentioned something about fire ratings on doors that's why I thought that there was certainly something you didn't find interesting or useful in architecture, so I'd like to know how much there was to it.

I feel that I am wasting a lot of time studying architecture here. I really enjoy designing a house but what I enjoy even more is doing a 3d model and rendering it afterwards. I even enjoy thinking about the fact that someone should live there and that it should really be a house rather than a bunch of lines creating some concept sculpture thingy that looks cool but no one can actually use it (I consider this to be the emperors new suit).
But city planning, le Corbusier, the emphasis on boring, irrelevant and outdated stuff, banned usage of computers... I feel it could be better spent learning math, programming, improving drawing skills.

So, if even after getting my diploma as an architect, I decide to dedicate myself to VFX how severe a handicap will I have compared to someone who has dedicated himself completely to VFX much before me?
 
Old 02 February 2006   #97
I'd like to give a huge thanks to Chris for his generous participation in this thread
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