|Interview with Ziv Qual
What’s the most useful thing you have learnt in 3d?
That’s a hard question.
I guess it will have to be rendering things to passes. I am talking about really anything you can get on a different pass – different objects in the scene, specular/reflection passes, occlusion passes (made a tutorial on that btw), different effects and so on. When you render things into passes (instead of having it all rendered in a single frame) you can have so much more interactive control over everything in a compositing program (like Photoshop or After effects).Rendering things into passes usually means your renders are less heavy because things are divided to passes so you can afford a lot more details (I couldn’t possibly render Rage over Babylon without splitting it into many parts and then combine them all back together in PS). This way has one flaw that needs to be considered – once you start rendering to passes, it becomes harder to make any major scene changes like camera position because you will have to make the same adjustment to every pass you render, so its sometimes a hard decision to make.
Ironically, my “3d” tip is – get familiar with Photoshop (or other compositing progs), any render you make can be soo much improved by some basic post work.
What have been your major influences over the years?
I don’t think I had anything recent that had a major influence on me so I’ll go back quite a few years to the reason I’ve decided to install Windows 95 – Diablo. It was the first game that really had me hooked to my computer (well except for doom2 maybe), it was then followed by starcraft (which was around the time I got familiar with 3D) and then by warcraft3. All of these games share a few common qualities – each of them had its’ own unique storyline and atmosphere and it was really easy to get sucked into the storyline and be hooked for a long time, each of them had groundbreaking detailed quality cinematics (relatively to their time) that just blow your mind and keeps you wanting to see more, they were all made by Blizzard. I think their games had an enormous effect on me and shaped the way I strive to work today.
What advice would you give to future wanna be animators out there?
Well I have lots of specific tips but I can write tutorials for those so I’ll speak generally.
What makes a good 3D artist?
First of all, I think that besides the level of skill at what you do, you need to have a good eye. This may sound obvious, but learning the rules of what makes something good (what makes a model being modeled “correctly”, understanding what makes a lighting setup good and what makes it flat, understanding composition rules etc’) is a first big step that takes time. I think experience and having an open mind is the key to learn overtime what makes something good and how to achieve it.
What are your plans for future?
I hope I keep on finding time to work on my personal projects that is just so time consuming. For the near future, I plan to keep on being the 3D department manager of the company I work for and hope it will keep on growing as fast as it has since I arrived there. I know of a big company (IDT, one of the biggest companies in the world) that plans on opening up a studio near where I live to work on a feature film. I can't really tell where I would be a year from now ... As for the far future, that's a really good question? I hope to find myself working for some firm similar to Blizzard that has its goal set on creating unique worlds with a good storyline and extreme details.
What are your hobbies and daily routine?
Nothing special I guess.My main “hobby” is CG. When I got some spare time I’ll probably do something related to it, it is what I like doing and I’m grateful to be able to make a good living out of it. I also like sports, I love playing soccer and basketball though I don’t get to do it too often lately. Meeting friends, going to the beach, drink, seeing movies … the usual stuff.
Are you working on any projects currently? If so, what are they?
I currently don’t work on any personal project, though’ I have quite a few things in my mind waiting for when I find time to get them started. I’ve just finished a tutorial on occlusion pass (http://zivcg.com/occtutorial.html) and I plan to make a few others when I get the chance. At work I am currently working on an opening intro for a laser surgery “pen” presentation. The script is pretty cool! Basically, the client requested that we start with a dark stormy weather (heavy clouds, rain, lightning etc’) and as the “hand of god” appears from the ocean, it will write “and god said: let there be light” using the pen. By the time the hand finishes writing it, the weather gets calm and warm. It’s pretty fun to work on. Meanwhile, we are also working on a commercial for a big dental implants company, I took on myself to handle a shot where the camera zooms into an actress’s teeth as it switches seamlessly from live footage into 3d animation
How do you rate CGArena, likes to give any message to our readers?
I like your site. You have some interesting features. I like the fact that you sum all the major CG contests on your front page, I often look for a motivation to launch max on my free time. :)