“Ray Tracing is overhyped. At least this is what most visual effects artists thought when it took an ungodly amount of hours to render a single frame, including Chris. Years ago, rendering architecture felt endless. Today, technology has caught up. Where ray tracing on any rig used to be requirement heavy, now clean rendering is possible on a laptop.
Chris has worked on massive films like After Tomorrow, I.Robot and Stealth, a film which presented an incredible amount of challenges in architecture rendering. He’s been involved in the visual effects industry for so long that he was one of the first to demo the ground-breaking car simulator that they eventually used on the visual masterpiece, Tron. Did we mention that he’s been around for a while? Chris probably bought the first license of VRay tracing software EVER.
Chris was one of the first ever to bring ray tracing into visual production. You could consider Chris Nichols a pioneer; a trailblazer even! He is the director of Chaos Labs, a group of like-minded creative individuals that are pushing the boundaries of the computer graphics industry to the next level. This is the episode where he talks about his knowledge and experience in the industry, along with the latest tools and technologies such as Houdini and the potential of VRay tracing as the visual rendering technology of the future. If you’re curious about what lies ahead for the visual effects industry, this is an amazing episode you need to watch.
Highlights of the Episode:
00:33 Introduction of guest
01:43 Journey into visual effects
06:33 Ray Tracing
12:18 Career Advice
16:26 Working for different companies
22:20 Chaos Group Labs
23:24 Passion Project
32:58 Tracing process
36:59 How far has technology has come
41:03 USD and omniverse
50:00 Transitioning into software technologies
51:10 Potential of Blender
53:38 Trend of generalist
59:54 Houdini General Edition or UAE plugin
1:03:49 Traditional animators
“What real time means to me is the experience of it and not necessarily just the rendering part of things” – Chris Nichols