A natural Interest in 3D rendering: Interview with Hyeji Jeon

Being a student offers an often once in a lifetime opportunity for us to examine ourselves, and figure out what it is that drives us to pursue a career or craft.

What would be the one thing you would love to do all your life?

Hyeji Jeon’s answer is CG, and she’s never regretted choosing this field. Hyeji regards CG art as the crystallization of expression, in that it provides an opportunity for one to make use of all his or her senses, and express everything. She believes that with CG, there is no limit but the imagination. Needles to say she fell deep into the world of CG.

In Hyeji’s opinion, the most fun part of the project was learning to change the mood of the piece through lighting. She dreams of becoming an expert lighting artist.

She worked with us on this piece for her portfolio. An appreciation of nature has pervaded her world. In this work, she starts a conversation about returning to nature by inviting us to witness a worm’s metamorphosis into a dignified beetle. Listen to the story of her work dramatically expressing the mystery and wonder of nature.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Hyeji Jeon and I live in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

I often go outside to take pictures and also enjoy drawing and watching movies when I’m free. Recently I’ve been trying to taste more of the various food of world and learn dancing because it refreshes me when I’m bored.
And I love to collect the sources of inspiration like pictures, videos and classic paintings when I have free time. Collecting art has become one of my habits.

How did you get involved in CG and when was it?

Since I was 19, Watching avatars and movies, I’ve wanted to study CG. I majored in visual design at university. Then, I went to a professional CG school. Started my CG study in earnest from July, 2014

I went to SF film school (http://www.sffilm.co.kr/), and learnt Maya, After Effects, Nuke, Digital Artwork (sculpting, Z-Brush), listened to seminars in the Academy (like one from PIXARon ‘Lighting T/D’ / and one from Weta Digital on becoming a ‘Concept Artist’). Now I can confidently use Maya, V-Ray, Mental ray, Mari, Z-Brush, Quixel, 3D coat, Headus UV Layout, After Effects, Nuke, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator Etc.

Why did you choose CG? What excites and interests you about it?

To be simple, I’d like to be happy in my work until my life is done. I enjoy art and I thought that CG is an aggregate of the arts that stimulates every sense. I think CG is very attractive because it can reduce the limits of expression when artists work.

What was the most challenging or fun project you worked on so far and why?

The most fun part of the project was the learning the changing moods as a result of the lighting. It was impressive to stress certain parts of the object with the changing of light for leading focus. Mostly, the institute teaches how to use the basic programs and develop skills through practice. Unlike others, I chose the lighting field. I made my portfolio as I was attracted to lighting and rendering, and focused on it.

What would you like to achieve in terms of your career? Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years?

The final goal is to become a leading expert in the lighting field. I want to help people, interact with inspiration, and keep on improving. My hope after five years is to become a person with a positive energy all the time, and capable of working synergistically with partners. In the field of lighting, I want to become an artist who researches and makes fresher images.

Tell us more about the project you rendered on our farm. What motivated/inspired you to choose this subject?

I’m inspired from nature again and again. But as every artist works hard and loses time for relaxation, I was also a bit far from nature, being hard at work. I felt I really forgot the significance of nature in my busy life, So it lead me to select and make this subject and project that includes the message of ‘returning to nature,or importance of nature’.

RETURN (RETURN to Nature.)

Based on a high degree of civilization and science, humans have created a remarkable world. When we think about nature, we realize we can not go beyond nature. Many people in this age do not feel the importance and beauty of nature. Just because they are busy. My goal is to return to the core.

Why is the main character a scarab : A very weak worm becomes a hard and strong scarab. I thought it was material that shows the mysteries and surprises of nature. Parts of various forms of clockwork moving within the body of the scarab symbolize the return to nature. It symbolized the theme through a clock going backwards.Starting from nature (sun, sea waves) – Civilization and its development (city) – and the return to Nature (plant, flower)

What would you say was the most challenging and the most enjoyable aspect of this particular project?

I hesitated to select my subject because my objects were mostly metal, it takes a longer time to render metal than rendering low reflection materials.
I tried to simplify the details to find out the most effective way, and I feel I learned the way of working effectively through that process. I felt the sense of accomplishment during my works when I solve problems.

Can you tell us some more about the details such as total frames, render times, complexity, software and tools used? Any additional resources you used and learned from?

Total frames: 1,100 frames
Frame time (average): 1분당 평균 5 ~ 6 frames
Render times: Waiting times + Render times : 3 ~ 5 days
Render times on personal computer: 2 weeks
Complexity: average
Software and tools: Maya / V-ray

Do you remember any funny or interesting stories along the way that you want to share?

Until the end of my portfolio work, I had minimal sleep. I almost lived in the studio. People’s opinions about investing youth in work are different. But I was able to prove myself. I proved how much I liked this job, my will and passion.

What was the reason for using a render farm for this project?

I wanted to express the material with a high reflection value, and the rendering time was expected to take a long time. So I started to use Render Farms.

How did you find GarageFarm.NET, and what impression did our service leave you?

I searched many render farm services and got and found positive information on GarageFarm.NET in Korea. In fact, I was really satisfied with the service of GarageFarm.NET, especially the counsel and reasonable prices.
The reviews from Koreans were good. There was this image of a professional render farm. Also, learning how to use Plugin was not cumbersome.

Have you ever used any other commercial farm or have had experience with your own or school farm?

SF film school has a render farm and I know how to use it, and I used Zync once before. It’s a bit confusing because I was not familiar with how to use Zync for the first time, and it seems to be an advantage to be able to choose the performance and price of the render farm. If your English isn’t good, you may find it difficult to use.

Any advice for someone who is just starting out or is thinking of getting into animation or CG in general?

There are many extraordinary artists in the CG field. So I think the humble attitude will lead to more development. Also, even when hard circumstances come, if you intend to overcome it, asking yourself “Why do I want to do this work?” is very important.

Where can people find you and connect with you online?

In my case, I work on a CG site shared with various artists.(Pixologic ZBrush, 3D Modeling and Animation Group, Portfolio Workshop. Etc Facebook page) I upload my work and communicate with other artists.

Facebook : 3D Modeling and Animation Group, Sculpture
ArtStation : https://www.artstation.com/artist/elizabeth0art

Anything else you would like to add?

In the case of freelancers and students, rendering meets a difficult situation, as technical and environmental issues can arise. In my case, I was able to get fast results using GarageFarm.NET. I’d like to give thanks to the friendly GarageFarm.NET staff, and for the fast and responsive service.