Reallusion TV

Featured Director - M. D. McCallum

M. D. McCallum

I am a freelance graphics artist, 3D Animator and Modeler. My family background is in fine arts. My mother has a flair for oil painting while my father was a commercial artist in his college days with a passion for watercolors. Even though we were farmers and operated an agriculture related insurance business our first passion was always the beauty of nature. My parents constantly pointed out great locations for taking pictures or painting. They even painted from some of the photographs they took.

I, on the other hand, was not so artistically talented with pen, pencil or paintbrush so I stumbled around until computer driven digital arts became a reality. Since then I have been able to draw upon many years of listening to discussions of vanishing points, perspective, color palletes and other bits and pieces of information that now made sense. We have property near Taos, New Mexico and I was exposed to the craft and sculpture side of fine arts as well as paintings from a very young age, long before Taos and Santa Fe became fashionable.

I have many fond recollections of visiting the art galleries in old Taos back in the 1960's and 70's. This always led me to want to be able to express myself artistically.

Creative 3D Model Developer and VFX Expert

Q: How did you start the animation experience with iClone?

I was looking for a storyboard application when I came across iClone Version 1.0. The ease of use and quick turnaround time was just what I needed at the moment. iClone immediately paid for itself the same day I installed it as I used it to work a revised shotlist. Using primitives we were able to revise the shotlist quickly which saved money as a full crew was on the clock awaiting the final list. Even well made plans can go wrong and iClone saved a lot of money for the production company that day.


Q: What's the benefit about using iClone for Previz?

Fast turnaround and low cost per minute of animation. Experienced 3D animators have no problem adjusting to iClone and new users can learn 3D animation while they pre-viz their project. The ease of use cannot be overstated as the complexity of higher end 3D applications can lead to more time on the clock therefore less profit in the long run.

Q: What was the major challenge about setting up the scene and animation in iClone before you roll the camera?

I've been doing previz for many, many years. There really is no major challenge to setting up a scene in iClone. There is always the challenge of getting a shared vision on
the screen but iClone itself is no challenge at all and in fact it speeds up the process.

Q: Which feature inside iClone help you the most to visualize a story?

The free cameras. The ability to link and look at along with unlimited movement is a real eye opener when creating shots. The instant feedback of realtime playback allows you move the camera in as many positions or orientations as one can imagine. Some of my favorite shots come from a basic starting point then rolling the camera around various axes until a "Wow" shot rolls in to view.

Q: What's your favorite iClone work)? How long does it take you to complete an iClone movie?

I have two favorites... Sniper and Ode to the Visual. Sniper is very old by now... made in 2009 I think, which features a US Army Sniper stalking a young German office around his same age. Ode to the visual was made after version 5 was released and utilized the Toon Shader. This Was an abstract piece of work that made fun of the narrative versus visual battle that seems to pre-occupy a lot of machinima producers. Both were submitted to the annual Machinima Expo and both were selected as screeners for their respective expos.

As to how long... that depends on the script I'm visualizing. It could take anywhere from couple of hours to a couple of weeks depending on the complexity of the task I'm assigned.It depends on the level of detail the employer is seeking. A lot of pre-viz is very basic with little or no lighting but there is also some that require the pre-viz to be as good as it possibly can be
because they are seeking funding or a network home for their show.Pre-Viz footage is rarely released to the public and I have tried to use some of my previous work for case studies but production companies just don't feel good about letting a pre-viz release out. The ones I have spoken with do not want another version of their movie released for any reason particularly if it was a low budget pre-viz that wasn't meant to convey the final quality of the project.

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