Índice do Fórum Dimensao3.com

Autor Mensagem

<  Entrevistas  ~  Entrevista com Allan McKay da Frantic Films

Colocada: Qui Ago 04, 2005 1:20 pm Responder com Citação
Veterano Registo: 28 Jan 2005 Mensagens: 606 Local/Origem: Lisboa
Mais uma entrevista feita pela D3 desta vez a Allan McKay.

Hi there Allan, thank you for giving us this interview.

D3 - As almost anyone knows you're an particle/fx guru, having participated in major feature films and other projects envolving company's like Blur. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you made it to where you are today?

I started out as a 2D artist, doing animation in animator pro and deluxe paint, you
know pixel by pixel, frame by frame. Then eventually I got into 3ds3 for dos, and
started modeling and animating away. I started getting into fx when all the yost group
ipas routines like smoke and fire came out. Then moved into max when I got a gig
working on Team Fortress 2 for Valve Software back in '97 (funilly enough TF2 is still
being worked on). All in all I just pushed myself to get into compositing and effects,
and push particles to do what I needed, as well as scripting and other realms too.

So far I've had the opertunity to work with a lot of great talent at studios like Blur,
Frantic Films and Digital Dimension amongst others, and I do a lot of consulting
for books and for studios like the Orphanage and New Riders Publishing,
Shadows in Darkness etc. As well as Discreet/Autodesk Media. It's been a great run,
I've gotten to work on a lot of great projects and been offered the opportunity to work
on big films like matrix, lord of the rings and even starwars in the past. I've done a lot
of lecturing and written papers/tutorials on a lot of effects related material since around
'98, as I've found back then and still even now there is next to no material available on
particles, dynamics and fluids and other film fx related procedures. So I've been avidly
writing as as much documentation as I can as well as holding masterclasses at Siggraph
and colleges around the world on the matter hoping to shed some light on the subject.

D3 - I know you must have been asked this questions alot of times, but... why particles/fx ? Why not animation? Modelling?

I started as a 2D artist, and dabbled with coding, bit by bit I ventured out into
modeling and character animation. And for a while I did consider myself more of a
character animator and modeler more than anything else. It seemed for a long time in
Australia there was a small handful of fx people and so whenever big jobs came up,
you have no real choice as to what you're doing, so in a way I was pushed into it, but
I'm not complaining. Funnilly enough if there's any cg pyrotechnics that ever need to
be done my phone is still the first to be called, I did have the nickname 'explosion boy'
when I was 18 working at Ambience down in Sydney.

So there aren't many areas I haven't dabbled in, but still do work mainly as an fx td,
compositor or supervisor when it comes to this industry.

D3 - How about school? You being a young guy, did you have time for finishing university? And do you think that is important nowadays? Or self-learning and natural talent are definatly the most important things?

Honestly, when I first got into this there was ZERO resources out there for learning
this stuff, the net was bare except for some 3dcafe tutorials, and there wasn't a single
college I don't think that taught any of this stuff. So for a long time I didn't even have
internet access and it meant everything was self taught, with the exception of maybe
a 'inside 3ds3' book I didn't have much to go by. These days it seems like there's a lot
of great material out there and the internet is such a great resource for meeting other
people to learn from etc. Natural talent is always going to be the key element
although having direction is always benefitial.

D3 - And inspiration? What kind of inspiration do you have and what artist do you look up for?

I guess this comes with starting so early, I more looked at real world reference for
guidence rather than people to look up to. I kind of wish I had people around to ask
questions about, and I wish I had paid more attention in math classes, all of these
things being an artist I never thought I'd need. But usually I just look at other cool stuff
and spend a lot of time building up new techniques and ways to approach things.

There are collegues like Chris Harvey and Boris Petrov and others who just from day
to day conversations can really open my eyes to new ideas and approaches for
things. So it's not necessarily effects related people that seem to inspire me.

D3 - Is there any job/scene that was speccialy hard for you to accomplish? Can youtell us a little about it?

I think every job and client wants to do something new and never before done. I think
every project has it's own unique challenges. I believe the current project I'm working
on is by far the biggest and most complex and visually pleasing project I've ever
worked on... although others have their challenges, Warhammer and In the Rough
were very quick turnarounds, we had supervisors trying to convince/motivate us into
believing that 30 minutes to do effects like water dripping down someone's face or
other complicated effects were doable. othertimes just large challenges with short
periods or complicated scenarios are usually the things that come up quite often.

D3 - Now for some technical stuff, some users from our forum have made some questions for you.
What software do you recommend for smoke effects after the particle system is already finished?

Afterburn's great, thin smoke you can always use thousands of little faces but the big
thick stuff Afterburn is probably the strongest plugin available right now, although lots
of fluid solutions are around the corner.

D3 - How about your favourite software, Maya, Max, Houdini?

Max is probably my favourite, purely because I don't think people realize how
powerful yet simple it is. I won't say it'll have all your answers, I used to work quite
heavily in maya before pflow came out, and I do come back there from time to time.
Houdini's great although it's quite specialized so not a great time investment unless
you're working in hollywood.

D3 - Can you uncover how you did the tendrils in the startup scene of the film "Paycheck"?

I covered this in a masterclass last year at Siggraph, it's using Afterburn (told you it's
good!) but the combustion element of it, along with some complex procedural noise
shaders to druve the denisty of it. Hopefully soon I'll unveil some more info on it on
my site or something as I'm sure I can explain it a little bit better with a few

D3 - One of our user asks if you miss in Max an integrated fluid system. And what's your opinion about Glue3D?

It's not always necessary to have all the bells and whistles included in an app, it can
help although sometime's it's overkill. So fluids I think 99% of the time is a waste of
time, how often are you necessarily going to use them? I believe it's great that they're
specialized. I'm really good friends with the glu3d team, I think they've done some
amazing stuff. Glu's a great plugin that's simple and very fast.

D3 - Could you give us an insight on the "Flood" fluid simulation system from Frantic?

There's a lot of info being released at this years siggraph I believe. It's essentially a
very physically correct and stable OCtree based fluids app that ties into max. It's been
used on films like Scooby Doo 2 and Cursed amongst others. I'm not sure what else I
can really say - other than it kicks more ass than anything else I've ever seen ..

D3 - What do you think about Chaos Aura plugin?

I'm closely tied into the development of a plugin very similar to aura so it's a bit of a
confliction of interest touching aura. So I've seen a bit of here at Blur from some of
the guys there, but I've never used it up close. I hear it's great, bit slow but still churns
out some great results.

D3 - Can you tell us about the DVD you're about to release on Siggraph 2005?

Easily the strongest dvd I've made to date. Covers a lot of stuff clearly and
professionally and doesn't really hold back. I use whatever plugins necessary this
time, which is still pretty much just pflow/afterburn for the most part and get pretty
dirty with compositing and scripting. So there's a lot of stuff ranging from fluids all the
way to writing basic AI and complicated procedural events, fracturing etc. All of this
stuff is treated as propper fx shots so from start ot finish I cover the particles, the
rendering, and compositing and all things inbetween, so it's really cool. I'll release
some more info soon on it, but I definitely think it's very kickass. I think it goes for
about 8-10 hours? I'm not sure.

D3 - Allan, what advices can you give for someone who wants to get in the FX area?

Have a back up plan, not to be discouraging it's always good to keep your skills up in
all areas when first starting out, it's great to specialize but you still need to generalize
too for when the quiet periods at your studio come around and they're looking for
people to boot. Look at as much reference as you can and learn all the generic stuff,
fire, sparkly glowy dust, clouds, smoke, dust, whatever is used a lot. And getting as
technical as you can as well can definitely help.

Allan I would like to thank you very much for this interview, and I would like to wish you best luck for your projects.

No problem always happy to help. If people have any questions or anything you can
visit my site at http://www.allanmckay.com and email me at [email protected]

Ver o perfil de utilizadores Enviar Mensagem Privada Enviar email
Colocada: Qui Ago 04, 2005 1:49 pm Responder com Citação
Site Admin Registo: 28 Jan 2005 Mensagens: 1539
É um senhor da particulas!!! E é do norte!!
Ver o perfil de utilizadores Enviar Mensagem Privada
Colocada: Qui Ago 04, 2005 2:05 pm Responder com Citação
Primeiros passos Registo: 02 Jul 2005 Mensagens: 88 Local/Origem: Lisboa
Muito fixe!!!!

Bem bacana a entrevista e o Alan é impecavel, muito prestativo.

Agora fiquei curioso em relação ao plugin que ele parece estar a desenvolver com mais pessoal!! Very Happy

Thanks DTS!

Do or do not, there is no try!
Ver o perfil de utilizadores Enviar Mensagem Privada
Colocada: Sex Ago 05, 2005 7:47 pm Responder com Citação
Veterano Registo: 11 Abr 2005 Mensagens: 597 Local/Origem: Planeta Terra - V.R.S.A.
Hi Allan McKay,nice to see one interview about you!
Dluxe Paint ,heheh Amiga user ,i have use Deluxe Paint ,etc in A1200+.
Great particles FX you make ,very cool!and beutyful like in real live.
make more and more FX,and finishing the soft you are making!!

cheers and have nice times,working and holydays. Smile
cya next time


Marco Palma
Ver o perfil de utilizadores Enviar Mensagem Privada Enviar email MSN Messenger
Colocada: Seg Ago 29, 2005 1:41 pm Responder com Citação
Veterano Registo: 11 Abr 2005 Mensagens: 597 Local/Origem: Planeta Terra - V.R.S.A.
Hi,estranho agora ninguem fala,tao como eu que tenho sempre que fazer,e quando venho dizer algo é sempre no fim dos forums!hehee.
ppl toca falar nem que seja pra criticar um pouco mas com educação!!

Very Happy cya later all

Editado pela última vez por mpalma em Seg Ago 29, 2005 1:52 pm, num total de 1 vez
Ver o perfil de utilizadores Enviar Mensagem Privada Enviar email MSN Messenger
Colocada: Seg Ago 29, 2005 1:43 pm Responder com Citação
Veterano Registo: 28 Jan 2005 Mensagens: 606 Local/Origem: Lisboa
Esta tudo de férias, das-lhes tempo Very Happy
Ver o perfil de utilizadores Enviar Mensagem Privada Enviar email

Mostrar os tópicos anteriores:  

Todos os tempos são GMT
Página 1 de 1
Novo Tópico

Ir para:  

Neste fórum, você Não pode colocar mensagens novas
Não pode responder a mensagens
Não pode editar as suas mensagens
Não pode remover as suas mensagens
Você Não pode votar neste fórum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You cannot download files in this forum