Setting up our Own Remote Studio

Hi there!

We’ve been cooking something up during lockdown which we’re excited to finally share with you in this new blog series. 

Over the last few months, we’ve seen the pandemic change the way studios work and affect how artists collaborate with one another. With remote work becoming the “new normal”, it’s become apparent that sharing a common physical space for projects to progress isn’t always necessary, and that a lot of work can be done from home. So, we decided to put ourselves in the shoes of our customers by setting up a small “remote studio” to create a 3D sequence from concept through final render called Mkali’s Mission.

We set out to create our animated short using each of the tools in the Media & Entertainment Collection – including Maya, 3ds Max, Arnold, and Mudbox – to showcase the breadth and power of the toolset. We also set up a Shotgun site to track our progress and manage reviews. To bring this project to life, we hired freelance artists from across the globe for modeling, texturing, rigging, animation, FX, look development, and rendering.

Taking on the roles of CG supervisor, director, and producer is me – Ken LaRue, Digital Content Specialist at Autodesk. I’ve been with the company for over 16 years, where I spent the first 10 years working as an Application Engineer focused on our compositing and editing products like Flame and Smoke. Now, my role consists of creating the online digital content used to engage and connect with our community in the Design Visualization, Film & TV, and Games industries. I hire, manage, and work with artists to build compelling and informative material that demonstrates what our software can do.

We’re really excited about this project, and we want you to tag along for the ride! From setting up the studio and building the story; to creating the concept art, modeling and animating each component of the sequence, and more – this blog series will take you through every step of our journey. We’ll also share some of the hurdles we’ve faced as well as our learnings from those challenges. Plus, you’ll get to meet all the incredibly talented artists behind the project!

Curious to see what we’ve been up to lately? Here’s a sneak peek at what you can expect from this blog series:

Work-in-progress concept art of Mkali and Suwulo by Calum Alexander Watt. 

Mkali’s Mission storyboard created by Calum Alexander Watt using Sketchbook.  

Mkali’s crossbow. Modeled and textured by Steve Talkowski in Maya.  

Meeting with artists Adrian Wise (top left) and Jacques Dell (bottom) on modeling the snowmobile and Mkali.

We don’t want to give too much away, so be sure to check back in for more updates!

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