Interview with Jan-Ove Rust
CGA: Please introduce yourself and tell us about how you got into the industry.
My name is Jan-Ove Rust, born in 1969 in Norway. I'm married and have two daughters, 10 and 14 years old. I started learning 3D little over 4 years ago, and have been freelancing for the last two years. I used to build guitars as a hobby, so when I found a 3D model of a guitar on the web, I needed to load that model into a 3D software. I didn't know anything about openGL speed, polygons, ray-tracing or anything. On a cover-CD from MacWorld UK there was a demo of Cinema 4D. Luckily C4D had no problem loading the 14MB 3ds model into my G4 MacBook. In no time, I had a beautiful chrome guitar displayed on my screen. After a year of learning, I started posting my work on different forums and got some feedback. I then started knocking on doors to show my portfolio and I've been busy since.
CGA: What type of projects are you commissioned to do?
My projects are divided between architectural visualization, ship modeling, visualization for Rolls-Royce and also lately, some interesting projects for some furniture manufacturers. Architectural visualization is about 70% of my workload. For some of these projects, I've been involved in the design process. It's not unusual for me to bring the laptop to the client and do some speed-modeling-sessions with the designers and architects.
CGA: What has been your favorite project so far?
I'm afraid that my favorite project is yet to come. I've been involved in some inspiring and interesting projects so far, but due to short deadlines, budget and/or the client’s needs, we've had to cut some corners. Usually I would like do more to the project and tweak the result. The clients are more than happy, but I feel I could have done better. Often, all I see are my mistakes, but I try to let go and move on.
CGA: What software do you use for your modeling and rendering?
CGA: What factors and features affected your decision to use modo as your primary application?
The modeling tools and the UI are great. It's so easy to navigate around inside modo, and it gives me quick access to all the tools I need. If you need to customize anything in the UI to optimize the workflow, that's done in a few clicks.
It's a must for me to work with absolute units. In modo you have the units displayed in mm,cm and meter etc. I do always model to scale, so when a client asks me the length from point A to point B, I use the Ruler tool and its there, displayed on the screen. No need for any guesswork or converting from generic units.
Setting up the shaders is a breeze. The default shader has fewer settings, compared to others like mentalray, but is very powerful. New users can pick up modo and produce quality work within hours. I'm also a big fan of the general look of the renderer. It's has a "velvet" like quality. You don't have to be a TD to get good results from modo. You don't have to search forums to find custom shaders and how to install them and get them to work with the latest build of your 3D app. Just install modo and you can let your creative juices flow.
modo's renderer and its ability to render clean GI images in minutes has saved me many times, when deadlines are just hours away. You don't need a supercomputer to render big images quickly.
Before modo 201, I used Lightwave to render. Nothing wrong with LW, but to me, going back and forth, was a lot of hassle and I didn't like that workflow. When modo 201 was released, I had all I needed inside modo. Lately I've been asked to do animations, so now, with modo 301 I'm yet again fully covered.
Another neat thing is the render region. If you need to tweak something, just render that region and save the whole image. You don't have to wait another two hours for that 6000x4000 image. I hate to sound like a fan boy, but I am :)
CGA: What has been your most challenging part of working in the architectural visualization industry?
Short deadlines can be a problem, and time management. I usually have 3-5 projects going at the same time, so I often find myself running between my computers.
Another challenging part was learning a new workflow. I get a lot of DWG from my clients; I had to find an effective way of getting that data into modo and how to model from that. The DWG's are 2D, so it can be tricky sometimes to construct 3D from that. CAD drawings can be dense with a lot of lines and detail, so it was difficult in the beginning to figure out what was what.
As a hobbyist, you do the kind project that you like and feel comfortable with, but for many of my projects I had to learn new things quickly. You need to be a jack of all trades as a one man shop. I also have to do every part of the process; including photography, modeling, texturing and rendering. Sometimes I wish I could just do the modeling and pass it on to the next person in the process.
At heart I feel like a newbie so the challenge never ends.
CGA: What is in the future for you?
That's a good question. I've had some interesting job offers, but I'll stay freelance for now. I live in a beautiful part of Norway and I enjoy everyday and the freedom I have being self employed. I feel very fortunate to be working in this industry and I hope to for a long time. But I guess if Weta Digital gave me a call, I would pack my family and jump on the first plane to New Zealand... ;)
You must be logged in to post a comment. Login here.