Interview: Patrick Hausmann

Hi everyone!

This time Patrick Hausmann (first place winner of challenge 117) from Cologne will answer some questions and give us a look behind the scenes of his winning entry.

Patrick Hausmann
from Cologne, Germany

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Winning entry of Weekly CG Challenge 117 “Mysterious Portal” by Patrick Hausmann


1. Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where
are you located?

Hey, I’m Patrick from Cologne and I work as a Research Associate for a University near Bonn, Germany. I’ve studied mechatronics („mix“ of mechanical + electrical engineering) but now I’m more active in the field of modernizing and digitizing teaching methods of my university department.

2. What was your main motivation for participating in the challenge?

Honor and Glory! 😀
I love challenges and especially the Weekly CG Challenge! The biggest battle is always against myself and since I „only“ reached the third place or an honorable mention in my last participations I was even more motivated to make it this time.

3. Where did you find the inspiration for your latest entry, or in general?

Inspiration for my latest entry came obviously from the Half-Life franchise which has a lot to offer! I can’t really explain where my general inspirations come from but I think it’s mostly Sci-Fi-movies and books, other artists and personal memories or experiences.

4. What software and plug-ins did you use to create this image?

Cinema 4D, Corona Renderer, After Effects, Premiere Pro and a little bit of Photoshop and Audacity.
This was also my first time to use all those softwares in one project so I learned a lot here.

5. Are there any particular techniques that you use often?

I like to copy/paste images that are still rendering into Photoshop so I can start the (rough) post-production in an earlier stage to save time.


6. Can you give us a short breakdown of your entry?

1. Started with the Control panel (Spent waaay too much time on details nobody can see in the final animation :D).
3. Then had the idea of an Elevator (Could finish this one pretty fast fortunately).
2. Continued with the Portal chamber (Started too late with that one so I covered a lot of stuff in haze).
4. And finished with the hallway (Again too much time spent on unnecessary details).

7. What was the hardest part?

For me the hardest part was compositing everything in the end, especially the portal. I only own After Effects for a few months and used Video CoPilots Saber-plugin which I just downloaded for this purpose. So I had to learn how it works and how I could place the portal behind the robotic arms in 2D using masks etc.

8. Have you learned something new from participating in this challenge and if yes,

Yes, a lot!
Split up your project in small parts and prioritize them. Then start with the most important stuff.
Make sure that you have the final product as good in mind as possible. So you can avoid working on unnecessary details.
Don’t underestimate the power of multi-pass rendering and layering in post!
And finally: Always recap your older projects and find out what to improve in the future.

9. Any advice for people who want to learn 3d art?

Don’t let other artists overwhelm you! Everyone started with a cube 😀
Keep up regular training and just make the stuff that makes you happy (daily rendering can be a way but it’s in no way a must – just avoid too long pauses). Share your work with other artists! Only this way you can get valuable feedback and it’s a good motivation to improve yourself.

10. Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?

Hans Jenssen, Richard Chasemore (because Star Wars!)
Paul Pepera, R.I.P. (awesome and incredibly detailed mechanical stuff)
Simon Stålenhag (fascinating landscapes and sci-fi devices)
and lots of others which I don’t recall now. Just go watch all those making of‘s!

Thanks for the interview Patrick!