We kick off this week at CG Channel with the first in a series of interviews with artists featured in next month’s Gnomon School of Visual Effects online masterclasses. In our opening Q&A, Maya/mental ray guru Alex Sandri explains what has driven him to hunt down and kill literally thousands of bugs in Maya’s mental ray pipeline – and how he hopes his experience can save you years of your life. “If nobody else has to smoke tons of cigarettes while trying to figure out how to work the software, I’ve succeeded!” he says.
The Oscars have also been in the news this week, with the publication of the final shortlists for this year’s Academy Awards. Was the Academy panel right to favour Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter over the much-fancied TRON: Legacy in the visual effects category? Have your say by posting on our story.
We also bring you news of Agent, a promising new crowd simulation system for 3ds Max, along with a call help from its developer, Geoff Samuel – and more Max-related goodness in the shape of Allan McKay’s video presentation on new VFX techniques in the software. And for those of you looking for a quick fix of indie animation, we recommend Nick Cross’s sick, slick The Pig Farmer, which blends Porky Pig and The Manson Family into one giant hallucinogenic cocktail.
Finally, for those times when you just can’t wait for a training DVD to arrive in the post, our revamped online store features over 90 tutorials as direct downloads, providing essential training in everything from modelling to compositing and effects work. Check them out in the newly expanded Training section of the site.
News Editor, CG Channel