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The Allan McKay Podcast
37 minutes | Sep 20, 2022
369 – DI4D – Colin Urquhart & Douglas Green
DI4D the world’s leading 4D facial performance capture service that specializes in animation for digital doubles. Their proprietary technology is derived from over 30 years of cutting edge research and development dating back to their own PhD research. Since then, the company has consistently innovated at the cutting edge of what is technically possible in the field. With bases in the UK and US, they work globally with partners across the entertainment and research sectors to develop and deliver high resolution 3D facial image capture, 4D facial performance capture systems, ground-breaking digital double creation software and services. Some of the titles that DI4D has worked on, both in film and games, are: Blade Runner 2049, Morbius, The Matrix: Resurrections, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Free Guy, Call of Duty, F1 2021, and many more! In this Podcast, Allan McKay speaks to Co-Founders of DI4D Colin Urquhart and Douglas Green about the DI4D technology for facial capture, the innovative thinking behind the process, digital doubles, uncanny valley, the facial capture rig and other behind-the-scenes of the motion capture process. For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/369.
57 minutes | Sep 13, 2022
368 – YouTuber and VFX Artist Eloi Andaluz Fullà
Eloi Andaluz Fullà is a visual artist with over 18 years of experience in 3D. He’s worked in architecture, motion graphics, advertising, mappings, interactive installations and movies. He is specialized in particles and dynamics simulations. He has worked as a freelancer for different VFX studios, providing tools and workflows for specific shots. For the last 7+ years, he’s been working for Scanline VFX. As part of the Scanline VFX team, he won an Emmy for Outstanding VFX for their work on the last Episodes of Game of Thrones. Eloi is also a Co-Founder of Effective TD’s, a community of Technical Directors and a specialized store for VFX solutions. On his YouTube Channel – which has over 30K subscribers – you will find tutorials, tips and tricks. In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews YouTuber and VFX Artist Eloi Andaluz Fullà about transitioning careers from architecture to 3D, working for Scanline VFX; realtime, TyFlow and other upcoming technology; and why simplicity is always key. For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/368.
72 minutes | Sep 6, 2022
367 – Magnopus - Co Founder / CEO Ben Grossmann
Oscar-winning Visual Effects Specialist Ben Grossmann has been paving the way for the new immersive web for nearly 20 years. As a Co-Founder of Magnopus, he’s long had a vision of bringing physical and digital worlds together through connected spaces. His passion for immersive technologies has made him a prominent voice on the subject. Over the years, Ben has used his experience in films to lead augmented and virtual reality projects for brands like Sony, Disney, Meta, and NASA. He led the creation of a virtual live-action world for the makers of Disney’s The Lion King. And most recently, directed Expo Dubai Xplorer, bringing the world’s largest social digital twin to life for tens of millions of visitors globally. Prior to Magnopus, Ben supervised visual effects on more than a dozen feature films including the Oscar-nominated Star Trek Into Darkness, and Martin Scorsese’s Hugo — earning him the Oscar for Outstanding Special Visual Effects in 2012. His work continues to transform the way movies are made today. Ben has also directed award-winning commercial campaigns and worked on iconic projects like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park. He is also a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the Visual Effects Society. In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews the Co-Founder of Magnopus Ben Grossmann about his journey in VFX, taking initiative as a young Artist, the state of VFX versus the promise of VR, visual fidelity versus interactivity, the power of communication and persuasion, how Artists pigeonhole themselves, the power of “WE” and how and when to say NO. For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/367.
56 minutes | Aug 30, 2022
366 – VR Entrepreneur - Sally Slade
Sally Slade worked for eight years in the VFX Industry, supporting visionary creators at Oscar award-winning studios, before pivoting to the XR Industry in 2016. Sally was nominated as “Reality Mixer of the Year” by Microsoft for her HoloLens product, Muralize, and further decorated by the AWE for her contributions to back-to-back Auggie award-winning XR experiences: Meow Wolf’s The Navigator, and the Virtual Production System used by Disney’s The Lion King. Most recently, Sally served as a Senior Technical Designer at Magnopus. She is currently the CTO at VOLTAKU. Her hobbies include illustration and VTubing. She has released a “virtual production for anime” app called Vodcasto. In this Episode, Allan McKay talks to the CTO of VOLTAKU, AR/VR Developer Sally Slade about her work in VR, AR, MR, XR; launching VOLTAKU, developing her own app, upcoming technology and the importance of programming skills for artists. For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/366.
50 minutes | Aug 23, 2022
365 – BUCK – Creative Director Orion Tait
Orion Tait is a Director and Partner at Buck, leading its New York studio in creating commercials and content for major brands from all over the world. With a background in filmmaking, fine arts and graphic design, his varied body of work is rooted in visual storytelling and continues to push the boundaries of innovation and quality in the commercial realm. A champion and steward of Buck’s well regarded culture of collaboration, Orion has led teams large and small, developing campaigns and directing work for Google, Nike, IBM, Mastercard, Umbro, Oreo, and Sherwin Williams. As a respected leader in his industry, Orion has lectured at numerous schools and festivals across the globe and served or chaired on several awards juries, including YCN, AICP and the Art Directors Club. In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews Orion Tait, Director and Partner at Buck, about making creative choices as a company, people and relationships as the most important asset, innovation and technological disruption, effects of COVID-10 of creative businesses – and collaborating with Tim Miller on Love Death + Robots Season 3. For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/365.
56 minutes | Aug 16, 2022
364 – Filmmaking in Unreal – Aaron Sims
Aaron Sims, the visual creator behind some of this generation’s most unforgettable cinema creatures, began his career over two decades ago as a special effects makeup artist. His pioneering techniques in the world of visual effects influenced the face of character and creature design in Film, Television, Games, Previs, and VFX early on in their application. Aaron Sims Creative [ASC] was formed in order to bring together a wide range of the world’s most talented concept and visual effects artists and create memorable characters, creatures, VFX, costumes, and key scenes. Aaron’s unparalleled skill and dedication to consistently creating stunning content for all platforms of visual entertainment has made ASC a premiere entertainment studio. Since its founding, ASC has worked on feature films like It, Wonder Woman, Logan, Wrath and Clash of the Titans, War for the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Amazing Spider-Manand many, many more. In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews Visual Creator and Director Aaron Sims about creating in Unreal Engine, his journey working on short film THE EYE: CALANTHEK; working against creative constraints, perfectionism and knowing when to let the project go. For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/364.
40 minutes | Aug 9, 2022
363 – Director Carlos Stevens – LOVE DEATH + ROBOTS
Carlos Stevens is an Animation Director, Writer and Executive Producer. He’s a former Student Academy Awards nominee for his animated short film Toumai. This achievement kick-started Carlos's career working on a variety of Cannes Gold Lion award-winning commercial campaigns, notably for Sprint and Sony. Additionally, he has directed and designed campaigns for X-Box, Netflix, Marvel, EA, Lexus, SyFy, UFC, Target and many others. His short film titled The Alchemist's Letter, narrated by John Hurt, received critical acclaim and festival recognition worldwide. Carlos previously held directorships at Laika Animation Studios, design powerhouse Elastic, and animation studios Logan and Superfad. He recently directed an episode for season 3 of the acclaimed series Love Death + Robots on Netflix. He also has films in development at Warner Animation Group and is currently EP / Showrunner on an animated series at Nickelodeon / Paramount +. In this Podcast, Animation Director, Writer and Executive Producer Carlos Stevens talks about his experience directing Love Death + Robots, his earlier short films The Alchemist’s Letter and the Student Academy Award nominated Toumai; consequences of rejection, importance of relationships and other lessons he’s learned throughout his filmmaking career. For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/363.
66 minutes | Aug 2, 2022
362 -- Henrique Reginato – NOX Visual Effects
Henrique Reginato is a VFX Supervisor and the Founder of NOX Visual Effects. After working in VFX for over 13 years, Henrique launched NOX Visual Effects during COVID-19 by purchasing the Nuke Indie license and working from home. Born in Brazil, Henrique first studied at Centro Universitario Senac, in Sao Paolo. He then pursued 3D Animation and VFX training from Vancouver Film School. He’s worked at a number of studios, including Pixomondo. His credits include: Star Trek: Discovery, For All Mankind, The Orville, The OA, Gotham and so many more! In this Episode, Henrique shares his journey as an artist, the benefits of working for smaller studios, how to become a VFX Supervisor and gain experience on set, how to start your own studio, the importance of relationships and gaining a business mindset for artists. For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/362.
52 minutes | Jul 26, 2022
361 – ILM – David Vickery
David Vickery is a VFX Supervisor at ILM, well known for his work on films such as Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Parts 1 and 2, Fast & Furious 6 and Jupiter Ascending. His work has been recognized with an Academy Award® nomination and the 2012 BAFTA Award for Special Visual Effects for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in addition to numerous Visual Effects Society Award nominations and wins. Vickery joined ILM having spent the past 13 years at London effects house Double Negative where he worked his way up from CG Artist to Lead 3D artist then CG Supervisor on such films as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Bourne Ultimatum, Cloverfield and The Dark Knight. Having strong ties to the visual effects community in London, Vickery formerly sat as Co-Chair on the UK board of the Visual Effects Society and is a member of BAFTA. After completing a Degree in Industrial Design at De-Montfort University, Vickery went on to receive an MA in Digital Moving Image from London Metropolitan University. In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews ILM’s VFX Supervisor David Vickery about his journey from a VFX Artist to supervising on set, dealing with rejection, working at ILM, working on projects like Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Cloverfield, Die Another Day; communicating with creatives and the importance of mentoring younger artists. For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/361.
81 minutes | Jul 19, 2022
360 – Fred Ruff – Running a VFX Studio
Fred Ruff is the founder of Refuge FX, a Portland based visual effects studio responsible for projects like For All Mankind, Helstrom, Queen of the South, Runaways, Grimm, Last Knight. Fred has over two decades of experience in computer graphics, visual effects and software development. He’s worked as a Lead Product Designer at Autodesk. He currently serves on the advisory board for Turbosquid, the world’s leading 3D model marketplace. Fred launched Refuge FX in 2013. In this Episode, Allan McKay interviews Fred Ruff, VFX Supervisor and Owner of Portland-based VFX studio Refuge VFX, about a day in the life of a studio owner, the phases of growing a business, the importance of relationships, the positive impact of COVID-19 on the industry, how to avoid the race to the bottom dollar and get better quality work. For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/360/.
63 minutes | Jul 12, 2022
359 -- VFX Supervisor Bilali Mack - Alkemy X
Bilali Mack is a VFX Supervisor Based in NYC. Born in Accra, Ghana and based in Brooklyn, Bilali has spent the better part of the last decade honing his craft at visual effects at studios such as Brickyard VFX, Smoke and Mirrors, MPC and Alkemy X. Bilali has supervised and executed on visual effects for commercials, tv and film for a number of high profile clients such as Adidas, Google, BMW, Starz, HBO, and Focus Features; as well as working with notable directors such as Dave Myers, The Russo Brothers, Lance Acord, and Thomas Bezucha. In his spare time, he produces the Legends of VFX podcast, directs short films and is very passionate about street photography and food. In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews VFX Supervisor Bilali Mack about his journey from a VFX Artist to a VFX Supervisor, qualities of the most effective leaders, the importance of diverse storytelling, NFT’s and Bilali’s Podcast Legends of VFX. For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/359.
80 minutes | Jul 5, 2022
358 – Tim Miller – Founder of Blur Studio
Tim Miller is a Film Director, Animator, Creative Director and VFX Artist. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for the work on his short film Gopher Broke. He made his directing debut with Deadpool. He is also known for creating opening sequences for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Thor: The Dark World. In 1995, Tim co-founded Blur Studio with David Stinnett and Cat Chapman. Blur is where animators and artists can collaborate and be in control of their creative destinities. Since then, the Studio has evolved into an award-winning production company with work spanning the realms of game cinematics, commercials, feature films and more. Committed to their clients, artists and to the telling of great stories, Blur continues to grow not only as a high-end animation studio, but also as original content creators, having recently helmed Netflix’s first animated anthology Love Death + Robots. In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews Tim Miller, Film Director, Animator, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Blur Studio, about the history of launching Blur, its legacy; his ongoing collaboration with David Fincher, directing Deadpool and Terminator: Dark Fate – and creating Love Death + Robots. For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/358.
50 minutes | Jun 28, 2022
357 - EmberGen CEO - Building a Business
Janga FX was founded in 2016 by Nick Seavert, an entrepreneur who is well versed in both startups and real-time VFX. Janga FX was initially bootstrapped with credit cards, software sales, and many thousands of man hours instead of outside investments. The company’s core motive is to provide real-time VFX tools to artists and designers who work in video game or film industries. The first tool by Jang FX called VectorayGen was released in 2017. EmberGen is a standalone real-time volumetric fluid simulation tool built for generating flipbooks, image sequences, and VDB files. In this Part 2 of Allan McKay’s interview with Nick Seavert, the Founder of Janga FX, Nick talks about his first job in the industry, the beginnings of Janga FX, its first software VectorayGen and the launch of Ember Gen. For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/357.
58 minutes | Jun 21, 2022
356 -- Channel Makers – Nate Black
When Nate Black decided to start a YouTube channel, he had a significant advantage: As an actor, he’d been in thousands of live stage performances and knew how to play to an audience. After leaving the stage, he moved through various jobs until he found a passion for teaching. When he launched Channel Makers, a YouTube Channel that tackles the question “How to succeed on YouTube”, the number of subscribers grew from 0 to 25,000 in its first year. He creates original, data-focused informational videos using real-life tests and case studies. Nate helps a wide range of YouTubers, from beginners to established channels. Currently, the number of his followers is over 120K. In this Podcast, Nate Black, Creator of a highly successful YouTube Channel called Channel Makers, shares his experience and gives advice on how to create and grow your YouTube, discusses YouTube shorts and lives, and the importance of market research. For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/356.
53 minutes | Jun 14, 2022
355 -- NFT’s and Other “Hacks” -- Clinton Jones
Clinton Jones is a Director, Content Creator, VFX Artist and Photographer. He has worked at Rocket Jump and at Corridor Digital. On his YouTube Channel, where he is known as Pwnisher, he launches challenges for his community, as well as creates tutorials. His YouTube Channel has a massive following of over 557K subscribers, while his Instagram has 110K followers. Currently, Clinton is working on co-writing his first feature film, creating content and making art. In this Podcast, Allan McKay and Clinton discuss the habits of successful people, productivity hacks, the importance of soft skills and how NFT’s are empowering contemporary artists. For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/355.
52 minutes | Jun 7, 2022
354 – Ian Spriggs - Photoreal 3D Character Portraits
Ian Spriggs is a 3D Digital Artist and a VFX Artist. He completed his first 3D portrait in 2014. His work has become widely known for being photorealistic because they seem to represent the subjects’ inner selves. As a Lead Character Modeler, he has worked for studios like Unity Technologies, Scanline VFX, ILM, Mr. X. His projects include The Mandalorian, Mulan, Bloodshot. He is also the author of A Portrait of the Digital Age, a book on creating his meticulous character studies. In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews 3D Digital Artist and Lead Character Modeler Ian Spriggs about creativity, importance of innovation and authenticity, how to niche yourself as an artist, difference between commercial and personal work, artistic freedom – and so much more! For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/354/.
41 minutes | May 31, 2022
353 – ILM – Manager Emerging Talent – Kim Paris
Since 1975, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) has set the standard for visual effects, creating some of the most stunning images in the history of film. At the forefront of the digital revolution, ILM continues to break new ground in the field not only in visual effects but now virtual reality, augmented reality, immersive entertainment, and virtual production. Founded by George Lucas, ILM is the leading effects facility in the world, with studios located in San Francisco, Singapore, Vancouver, London, and Sydney. The company serves the motion picture, television, streaming, commercial production, and attraction industries. ILM has created visual effects for over 350 feature films. With so many technical and creative innovations, ILM has been a constant force propelling the evolution of visual effects. Beginning with a mastery of the traditional arts of blue-screen photography, matte painting and model and miniature construction, ILM advanced the art of optical compositing and pioneered the development of motion control photography, digital compositing, and numerous other advances in effects technology. Since the 1980s, ILM has led the way in the use of computer graphics and digital imaging in feature films, developing breakthrough techniques such as morphing, enveloping and film input scanning technology. Most recently ILM unveiled its StageCraft realtime virtual production platform and StageCraft LED Stages which allow storytellers the ultimate flexibility in how they plan, develop and capture their vision. Today, ILM features one the most comprehensive and advanced digital effects production pipelines in the entertainment industry, from the earliest creation of wholly computer-generated characters in The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Jurassic Park to the startling digital breakthroughs in films such as Twister, Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace and The Perfect Storm. ILM’s ability to merge photo-realistic digital images with live-action footage is renowned throughout the industry. Critical to ILM’s success are its Visual Effects Supervisors, who combine technical expertise with creative vision. They are joined by a global team of some 1,200 employees that includes producers, art directors, computer graphics artists, software engineers, editors, and technicians. This effects team works within ILM’s proven production management system, known for producing superlative results on time and on budget. Industrial Light & Magic is a Lucasfilm Ltd. company serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual effects. ILM has been awarded 3 Emmy Awards, 15 Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects, and received 33 Academy Awards for Scientific and Technical Achievements that have had an indelible impact on the art of filmmaking. In this Podcast, Manager of Emerging Talent at ILM Kim Paris talks about her experience recruiting talent, the importance of cover letters, the power of humility, the myth of film not being a stable career; as well as gives advice on outreach emails, reels and job interviews. For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/353/.
65 minutes | May 24, 2022
352 – Activision Blizzard – Executive Principal Recruiter for Art in Animation and Creative Robin Alan Linn
Activision Blizzard’s history goes back more than 40 years. Two incredible gaming brands Activision and Blizzard Entertainment merged, bringing together the best creative talent in gaming. The acquisition of King in 2016 further strengthened the company’s vision to bring the world together through epic entertainment. Their professional gaming properties include the Overwatch League™, the Call of Duty League™, Hearthstone® Grandmasters, and the World of Warcraft® Arena World Championship, among others. Activision Blizzard Esports also operates Tespa™, the leader in collegiate esports. In this Episode, Activision Blizzard King’s Executive Principal Recruiter for Art in Animation and Creative Robin Alan Linn talks about the importance of niching down, how to stand out in the age of social media, how to ace the most difficult interview question, the importance of empathy, vulnerability and imperfection – and so much more! For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/352/.
64 minutes | May 17, 2022
351 – CBS VFX – Ava DuVernay's ONE PERFECT SHOT
When Oscar®-nominated, Emmy® award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay teams with some of cinema’s most noted directors in the new HBO Max original docuseries One Perfect Shot, movie lovers will see dazzling, unprecedented views inside memorable shots from film history. The series provides a never-before-possible perspective on filmmaking, allowing directors to step into their favorite shots and take viewers on amazing 360º views of their visions. DuVernay and her production company, ARRAY Filmworks, selected CBS VFX (www.CBS-VFX.com) to produce these visually breathtaking moments. Created for television by DuVernay and inspired by a popular Twitter account of the same name, each episode of One Perfect Shot arms one acclaimed director with an arsenal of visual tools to pull back the curtain on their most iconic shots. Filmmakers share their obstacles, challenges, lessons and triumphs as they detail the road to their one perfect shot. The series features prolific filmmakers Patty Jenkins, Aaron Sorkin, Kasi Lemmons, Jon M. Chu, Malcolm D. Lee and Michael Mann, as well as blockbuster films including Wonder Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7, Harriet, Crazy Rich Asians, Girls Trip and Heat. Making the incredible images in One Perfect Shot required CBS VFX to use more than 25 years of visual effects innovation. Much of the work integrates the visual effects company’s proprietary Parallax virtual production system, which brings three-dimensional technology and an intricate level of detail to virtual locations. Combining Parallax with new tools in the Unreal Engine from Epic Games – including real-time rendering and ray tracing – led to remarkable production flexibility. The digital production techniques from CBS VFX incorporated into One Perfect Shot represent an evolution of the work the visual-effects studio has done to replicate real-world locations in virtual sets and improve virtual production – which has been particularly important during the challenges of the pandemic. CBS VFX has developed groundbreaking technology and created visual effects for multiple series across many networks, including Apple TV’s upcoming Roar, The Offer for Paramount+, This Is Us on NBC, Netflix’s Dead to Me, and Big Shot on Disney+. CBS VFX maintains a dedicated virtual production soundstage, and its team is available to television production professionals for live demonstrations of virtual production, digital set extension and realtime pre-viz technologies. In this Episode, Allan McKay interviews Craig Weiss, Executive Creative Director at CBS VFX and Jim Berndt, Head Virtual Production at CBS VFX about their work on One Perfect Shot created for HBO Max by Ava DuVernay, the creative process and challenges of short deadlines, the promise of virtual production and realtime — and the future of VR; as well as their work on some technologically innovative projects. For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/351/.
52 minutes | May 10, 2022
350 - F is for Family - Showrunner Mike Price
Mike Price is a Writers Guild Award and three-time Emmy Award-winning Writer and Producer. He is the Executive Producer and Showrunner of the acclaimed Netflix animated comedy series F is for Family, which he co-created with series star Bill Burr. He is also a Writer and Co-Executive Producer on The Simpsons, having written over 20 episodes of the show – and served as a script consultant on The Simpsons Movie. In this Podcast, Allan McKay interviews Emmy Award-winning Writer, Producer and Showrunner Mike Price about his work on The Simpsons and F is for Family, the influence of improv on his work, the dread of the blank page and how COVID-19 has changed the writers’ room. For more show notes, visit www.allanmckay.com/350/.
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