Computer Graphics World

July-Aug-Sept 2022

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20 cgw j u ly • a u g u s t • s e p t e m b e r 2 0 2 2 making experience, I was now more able to speak with everybody in the same language. It's always a good idea to develop your skills and learn something new that helps you to work more efficiently in pre-visualization. The filmmaking class was the exact thing that brought me here. As soon as I finished filmmaking school, I started to work with The Third Floor. They hired me even without an interview because, at the time before the pandemic, they were packed with projects. The only problem was that I still worked in 3ds Max, and everybody here worked in Maya. It was a challenging period to transfer from 3ds Max to Maya and basically learn everything from scratch again. It was 2019, so it was like three years ago. ML: Are you in the studio working, or are you working fŠom home? AS: The bigger studios, before the pandemic, they required you to work in a very strict security environment, so you have to attend the studio and work. They had sections of office that were blocked with black curtains, and with several extra doors with several extra keys to protect the intellectual property. Then the pandemic came and everything goes back to the 'work from home.' Almost every company that I worked with recently, they work remotely, so most of my colleagues still work from home. Even though you can go to offices right now, everybody prefers — and it's more efficient — to work from home. ML: What is your setup? Can you talk a little bit about what kind of workstation you have? AS: Frankly, for pre-visualization, you don't need very heavy-loaded computers. It's basically more about efficiency and how effective you can be, how fast you can be, how you can reduce the amount of polygons and make your workflow, in general, efficient. It's relative- ly an average workstation with a couple of displays and that's it. The crucial component of the workflow is a stable and very thick broadband cable that goes from your apartment towards the studio. I changed to the business internet and that was the biggest investment I made. ML: Do you have a preference as far as workstation set-up or brand? AS: Not at all. Ten years ago it was more important because at that era, the bottleneck was the hard drives, so I was an early adopter of SSD drives. It tremendously sped up the work on editing and working with sequences. But nowadays, almost every computer is so fast that it allows you to work on almost every project. I don't use really strong video cards, like Nvidia RTX or something, because we just don't need it. It's the artist's decision to make a scene heavy or efficient or light — a low poly scene. I'm not overcomplicating my projects, there- fore I don't invest that much money in hardware because it's more about the way you work — your workflow. ML: Let's hear about some of the work that you've done. I know that you're working on Stranger T ings (Season 4)? AS: The longest project I worked on was Jumanji, the second film [Jumanji: The Next Level]. It was a really interesting project. That was my first introduction to working with Hollywood directors, and we worked almost six months on post visualization. I liked it a lot because I learned a lot — how you can handle every shot by your- self, track it, animate the characters, and then comp it together into something that works for the director. Jumanji was definitely one of the most interesting projects for me. Then there was Terminator: Dark Fate, a film by Tim Miller. I worked on the last stage, then they decided to change the ending of the film and they reshot a good portion of the third act. They brought it to us and asked us to make something that will work in several weeks. It was a super challenging task for us. We worked all day long, with huge overtime.

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