Justin Grant's fascination with car models and finalRender trueHybrid - he tells you why in this exclusive Insights Interview


Justin is almost synonymous with deluxe car models like the Lotus Hennessy shown here, as well as vintage cars, like the Mustang. How did he enjoy beta testing the finalRender latest version?  

cebas: Justin, we are so happy to have your participation today! Releasing the new finalRender trueHybrid GPU+CPU version was such an excitement and you are also at the centre of this renewal. Did you decide to specialize in automotive visuals or it just came to you ?

Justin Grant: from my childhood years until present time I've always been fascinated by racing and exotic cars. So having the ability to create and render my own with 3d software is just straight up awesome!

cebas: tell us something about your Car Studio Kits @ renderspaz.com, and who are the target market?

Justin: Car Studio Kit is a product that involves studio lighting pre-set 3d models that are aimed for anyone who is interested in Automotive CGI from beginners to advanced users. The kit provides 3D scenes to pair with light panel 3D models that mimic real life studio lighting. The kit also includes backdrops to go behind the car that you can apply to get a different look to your scene. It also provides a material library involving car paints, metals, glass etc. Car Studio Kit includes several video tutorials of examples to demonstrate how to get good results lighting a vehicle. The sky's the limit when using Car Studio Kit and there are endless variations that you can create to get those beautiful car studio renders.

cebas: how long does it take you to create one of the ‘Car Studio Kit’ ?

Justin: when creating a product like Car Studio Kit it can take months to prepare the content which includes 3D scenes, 3D models, tutorials and launching the product on the website. Most of all during preparations, I want to focus on delivering a solid tool that will help artists that are struggling with lighting vehicles in a studio setup.

cebas: have you started using finalRender  on the car renders? How was it?

Justin: thanks to Cebas I was able to get my hands dirty with the finalRender 4 beta. The great thing about this renderer is that you have the ability to use your GPU and CPU at the same time or one or the other. I put Finalrender to the test with building a few Automotive renders from the ground up. In the process I was able to use Activeshade and build scenes while I had it running on my other monitor with very little performance decrease.

cebas: Justin, with your years of experience in CG art and rendering, what do you look for in a render and do you like GPU rendering or CPU ?

Justin: in the past all my rendering was all done using the CPU. So your system configuration would determine how fast your images or animations would be completed.
Since real-time feedback was not accessible to me at the time I was forced to make a guess on how my lights and materials would reflect on my render. I would wait for it to finish or I would use the region tool on areas of the image and make adjustments and render multiple times until I was satisfied with my results.

cebas: Justin, you have used a couple of different renders before, can you comment on what are the strong points that you have found in the new finalRender in comparison?

Justin: around 2009 I was able to get my hands on Vray RT (which at this stage it was in early development). I was amazed with the real-time feedback when moving objects and lights in my scenes with it updating simultaneously.

Vray RT was only utilizing the CPU at the time however this update changed the way I worked on future projects.

As for GPU when rendering my scenes I look for responsive feedback from the renderer when it comes to applying my lights, materials and textures. Harnessing the cores and memory of today's GPUs has given me the ability to adjust on the fly extremely fast and deliver much more then using CPU.

When it comes to finalRender 4 - I was really impressed with how clean and simple the render settings are laid out which made it user friendly. You can dial in how many passes you want it render and go - this reminded me of Iray. When it came to rendering a complex scene with multiple lights and displacement I was able to get a complete render within minutes not hours. The integrated de-noiser helped me tremendously with unwanted noise and this is a great feature to have.

The frame buffer feature is one of my favorites of finalRender 4 as it reminded me of using Octane's lens effects tools. You have the ability to adjust camera exposure, white balance, temperature and most of all give your render a nice look and feel when using tone mapping!

cebas: how likely are you to use finalRender trueHybrid as your main network renderer ?

Justin: since I like to use various render engines depending on the project at hand, I can definitely see myself using finalRender 4 in my pipeline for years to come.

cebas: besides CG cars, what are your 2nd and 3rd etc. favourites that you would like to do?

Justin: aside from Automotive CGI. I like working with anything hard surface, miscellaneous product renders, abstract, landscapes and motion graphics.

cebas: I also notice you enjoy giving tutorials, are you with any online academy ? What mostly are the focus of your tutorials?

Justin: I am not associated with any academy. I enjoy learning and sharing what I have learned with the community that will hopefully inspire others to do the same as well. I try to focus my tutorials around quality and detail for the viewer the best I can. I hope my tutorials can give some value to help the always learning 3Dartist.

cebas: have you got an idea already what kind of tutorials you might want to do with the new finalRender?

Justin: absolutely. I do have a list of potential tutorials that I would create for finalRender release 4.

cebas: and you have been quite successful to date as a freelancer - has it been smooth-going or tough? What is your advice to artists wanting to freelance?

Justin: as for the freelance side of things it has been rather enjoyable being able to work on cool projects for my clients. Keeping busy is always good and staying fresh with new projects is a plus. However there are times your workload may slow down. When this happens I like to keep myself busy with working on the website, researching and learning new things that I can add to my brand.

I would say for anyone that is interested in starting the freelance journey to brand yourself and work on your portfolio and select your best work that you want displayed. Look for what clients are hungry for in advertising, or even in the game industry, and structure yourself around that by creating something they will pay you good money for.

 cebas: finally, tell us what is your wish for finalRender it is not already doing for you.

Justin:  I believe finalRender 4 is going to be a great production renderer as it continues to develop. If I can pick something missing I would love to see a feature to include and exclude lights. I believe this function may be present but not working. Also, a more integrated dome light that focuses on environment features would be beneficial, where you can add an hdri file with separate parameters for exposure, gamma.

Other then this I am very satisfied with the results of the latest finalRender release. 

( cebas is grateful to Justin for this helpful tutorial on color correction, please visit http://www.youtube.com/cebasVT for Justin's 2nd tutorial on using the fR Skylight fabric, lighting and materials..)

cebas would like to thank Justin Grant of Renderspaz.com for this first interview about finalRender major release, and for sharing his work and thoughts with the community. 


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