3D modeler and director Greg Perkins talks about working with a talented crew to create his animated short, Scaredy Bat...
3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Hi, I'm Greg Perkins, I am a 3D modeler and I have just wrapped up my first 3D animated short film, Scaredy Bat
. I am currently located in Los Angeles.
Allen Paul steamrolling his way through a shot
3dt: What made you want to become a 3D modeler/director?
I have always been fascinated by 3D animation – ever since I saw the episode of The Simpsons
where Homer stumbles into the third dimension, I knew I had to figure out how it was made. The director role was never a goal of mine, it just kind of happened when I wanted to tell a story I wrote about a bat who is scared of the dark.
Modeling a crow for the final shot
3dt: How was it working on Scaredy Bat?
It was the most fulfilling experience of my life, creating and working with all these talented people. We had a team of sixty people and each person brought something different to the table.
Felix Eugene and Kexin Yang preparing a shot for the render farm
3dt: What are some of the problems you came across working on Scaredy Bat, and how did you overcome them?
The amount of problems you encounter while working on a 3D animation are endless. Teamwork and collaboration were the key elements for this project, and we definitely had the right people for the job. Nestor Hernandez was a huge help – he did all the alembic caching, which is where we take all the animated characters and props and put them into a scene with lights and textures. Felix Eugene was another rockstar as a lighter, and who also rendered all thirty-six shots. Allen Paul was a lifesaver, helping with a lot of the fix animation work. And then we have Ricardo Ferreira who was helping all the way from Portugal, who managed to single-handedly composite over a third of our shots. The short film would not have been possible without these guys.
Our frog character sleeping peacefully before being woken up by a crying bat
3dt: Please describe your workflow and essential toolkit.
As a modeler, I always use Maya
. Since we were going for a more stylized look with Scaredy Bat, I got away with doing it all in Maya.
3dt: What do you enjoy most about working in this industry?
The creativity and the collaboration. You're more likely to create an amazing project if you have more minds on it, so I love putting my ideas out there and letting others add to it.
3dt: How do improvements in technology impact on your work? Is it hard keeping up to date with the latest developments?
Improvements in technology can only make your work better and easier. For example, the original fur system I was using for Scaredy Bat's fur was very glitchy, but by the time we were about to render it, V-Ray
came out with a new fur system. This was a lot easier to use, it looked more appropriate stylistically, and it meant that we didn't have to composite the fur as it rendered out with the rest of our geometry in V-Ray. I don't find it hard keeping up with the latest developments at all because it's so easily accessible and I'm always surrounded by people in the industry.
The first animation session
3dt: What advice would you give someone looking to join the VFX/animation industry?
I would say learn the tools, be prepared for long hours, and remember to always do something fun with these tools on the side so you never forget why you started in the first place.
3dt: How do you like to unwind?
I like to go on adventures in nature. Anything away from the computer screen that will let me come back to it feeling refreshed.
Scaredy Bat Crew
3dt: When can we expect to see Scaredy Bat?
The release date for Scaredy Bat
is 21 December; you will be able to find it on Vimeo, YouTube, and www.scaredybatfilm.com
Check out Far Fetched Creations on Facebook
Scaredy Bat has a Facebook page
Head over to Scaredy Bat's official site
Take a look at Far Fetched Creations official site
Grab a copy of Beginner's Guide to Character Creation in Maya