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RenderStreet interviews, featuring 3D artists & professionals

Roman Volkov – A 3D hobby taken to the next level

My first contact with Roman’s work was through blenderartists.org forum. Being a car aficionado myself, I naturally took a liking to his art. The things that really impressed me though, were the close-up and outdoor renders. The reflections were just right, the light spot on (pun intended) and the overall look was worthy of a manufacturer’s catalogue. In fact, at a certain point I thought they could be easily mistaken for real photos of a car.
Read on to find out how he works and his very interesting views about modelling and more.


Hi Roman, you told me that 3D art is currently a hobby of yours. Tell  us a little bit about how you got into it.

Oh, it’s a long story. From my very childhood I liked drawing and freehand modelling. When studying in school, this passion gradually moved into a digital world.
My first steps in 3D art

Reynante Martinez – the storyteller’s view

Reynante Martinez interview on RenderStreet

I’ve been fascinated by Reynante’s work ever since I first saw one of his renders. Each of them tells a story, and I was curious to know how these stories take shape. Read on to find out how Reynante creates his art, about his entrepreneurial side and about what it meant to launch a product in the Blender world: the Cycles Material Vault .



Mathilde Ampe, bringing Blender into the car industry

Mathilde Ampe B&W photo

At last year’s Blender Conference, a title caught my eye in the schedule: “Automotive design with Blender”. I was intrigued and went to see the track. And this is how I had my first contact with Mathilde – a young and talented artist, who drove the adoption of Blender in Tata Motors’ UK design center. Read on to find out what Blender is used for in the car design department, and what are some of the challenges of a product design pipeline.

Interview with Zacharias Reinhardt, from AgenZasBrothers

Zacharias ReinhardtWe’re starting our 2016 interview series with Zacharias Reinhardt who has been playing around creating Sci-Fi movies since he was a teenager. Now, at 26, he is a Blender Certified Trainer and, together with his brother Vincent, is the owner of the AgenZasBrothers agency.

As you will learn, Zacharias now puts his efforts mostly into tutoring—doing workshops, Blender video tutorials, in-house training for companies and even remote teaching. He has made more than 180 Blender tutorials which are free on YouTube. But Zach is also into doing his own films, and his project Repto108 is now in the pipeline. Read on for some cool answers from Zach. 

How does Blender help in industrial design? Interview with Claas Kuhnen


Maybe the most challenging aspect of our working lives is bringing new things to life and have people using them. This is particularly true for industrial designers, whose job is to combine functionality with aesthetics, and create things others love.

We’ve had the pleasure of meeting Claas Kuhnen and learn about his recent challenge: addressing functional design in today’s digital times. Besides running his own studio, Claas is also teaching at Wayne State University focusing on 3D design and fabrication technologies. His work was also present at exhibitions like SOFA, SNAG and SIGGRAPH.

Very excited to learn more about product design from an insider, and see some of Claas’ brainy creations.

3D animation interview: in the mind of Hjalti Hjálmarsson

 Hjalti Hjálmarsson Aside from his charming personality and humor, Hjalti Hjálmarsson is one of the best Blender character animators out there. Last year he joined the Blender Institute team and is currently working on wrapping up Cosmos Laundromat—his most challenging project so far.

I was looking for a chance to pick his brain, ever since we’ve been involved in the Gran Dillama short open movie—he animated it, we did the rendering. The following ten questions discuss the secrets of the animation craft, the benefits of Animation Mentor classes he graduated, and valuable insights on what takes to be a master animator.

Designing comic characters—interview with John Garrett

John Garrett

John Garrett writes and draws at Hypertransitory.com

It’s been one year since we started interviewing talented people form the 3D industry. Each one revealed a unique connection between their work and Blender. The moment has come to find out where does Blender stand in relation to comics.

John Garrett has been drawing comics since he was five. Today, he speaks about the things he learned along the way. If you read carefully, there’s a lot to learn about character making and how serious making science fiction stories really is.

Bassam Kurdali: ‘I see open source as a movement for social good.’

Image of Bassam KurdaliBlender is the software of choice for many 3D artists. For some, it was love at first sight, for others it’s just a program they use to deliver the work. For Bassam Kurdali open source—‘libre’ as he calls it—is more than a tool, it is the result of the evolution of human nature that achieved a new level of interaction and cooperation.

In this interview, I’m talking to the director of the first animated open movie ever made. Which is kind of cool, as his Elephants Dream might someday be mentioned in textbooks. Bassam is a wayward on his own pace, following his dreams. I wanted to discover him better, but what I got was a new puzzle. A comprehensive mind that holds so many surprising things to come.

Sarah Laufer, la virtuosa de 3D

The interviews we’ve been hosting on the RenderStreet blog for a while now gave me the opportunity to meet new people and learn a lot from them. With Sarah it was the other way around. I had met her before and even worked together on a project, so I already knew this was going to be a pleasure.

Image of Sarah LauferAfter switching to Blender, Sarah Laufer co-founded Pataz Studio, and specialised in character animation. In 2010 her movie was nominated for the Sundance Film Festival. Then Sarah worked for The Tube open movie. Back in Costa Rica, she was also teaching Blender to kids from poor neighbourhoods in San Jose. Pataz Studio is one of the 12 studios chosen to produce the Gooseberry Project, so now Sarah is based in the Blender Foundation’s Amsterdam HQ. And because she is the first Blender lady we are featuring here, let’s give a warm welcome to Sarita Laufer!

RenderStreet interviews: Attila Balogh, architectural visualiser

Architecture is one of the main fields in which professionals use Blender 3D for showcasing their work to their clients. There are thousands of visualisation tutorials and online classes, and hundreds of amateurs that make a living from 3D architecture. But there are just a few that distinguish themselves as skilled masters in this industry. We wanted to find out what it takes to become such an expert.

Attila Balogh portrait

Attila Balogh has more that 10 years of experience in residential building architecture, interior design and 3D visualization. His complex work speaks for itself, and his answers shed light on how he creates his projects.

Marius Iatan: How did you start working in the 3D architectural visualization field? What would you say it’s the most challenging aspect of 3D visualization for you?

RenderStreet interviews: Jeff Mininger, interior/exterior designer

We’re back today with an interview featuring another Blender professional. Jeff Mininger has a successful business in the architectural field, and you’ll learn about how he does that and what is his history with Blender. But more importantly, Jeff has found a way to balance work, family life and healthy living something most of us are striving to do. 

Enjoy the interview and let us know what you think in the comments section!

Marius Iatan: Hello Jeff, could you please tell us a bit about yourself?Jeff Miniger and his younger daughter

Jeff Mininger: I’m a dad, play bass, ride skateboards and renovate houses. In my daily work I design and draft construction plans for new homes and renovations. I began working as a carpenter about 15 yrs. ago and learned a lot about building. Enough that I didn’t want to make a career out of it. So, along the way, I took the time to learn architectural software and brought the two sets of skills together to build my own design business. I like what I do, but for me work is a support system to the life I want to live and that means spending time with my wife and two girls.

Sebastian König, on his Blender tutoring passion

We recently started the RenderStreet interviews section on our blog, setting out to find unique stories inside the Blender community. Many already know Sebastian König from his work at Blender Foundation’s Tears of Steel open movie and his Blender training activities. He is one of the first Blender Foundation Certified Trainers (BFTC) in Germany, with a solid experience in teaching Blender.

I wanted to know more about what’s it like to teach Blender, and find the secret to becoming a well recognised expert. Besides his practical advice and insights, Sebastian’s authenticity and openness show he’s a man with a true calling for his work.

Marius Iatan: You have a long experience Image of Sebastian König both with online tutorials and live training all over the world. What was the most inspiring training you did, and why?

Sebastian König: I would say personal training is always the most inspiring. Online training or DVDs are great to reach a lot of people, but recording tutorials can be, at least for me, rather tedious. When doing recordings it’s just too tempting to try to fix mistakes and do another take. I often find myself recording the same sentence over and over again until I get it “right”. Mostly that doesn’t even improve the first take.

That’s also why I enjoy personal teaching so much. It’s all live and it doesn’t matter if everything is perfectly pronounced, or if you do a mistake now and then. Live training has this special something. It’s exciting and that usually makes my brain work faster. Which then results in better training. :)

RenderStreet interviews: William Reynish, director of Whole

Recently graduated from The National Film School of Denmark, William Reynish released his bachelor film Whole, that took one year to produce. Marius Iatan got William to reveal the project’s spicy moments that were put together in the amazing interview below. This, and some of William’s views on animation, 3D and creativity.

Marius Iatan: How did your professional skills evolve up to directing animation films? What would you choose instead, if you had to pick a different path?

William ReynishWilliam Reynish: I was always into animation. I grew up drawing a lot, and I liked to act. Animation is the natural combination of those two things. I worked as a character animator on other Blender projects such as Big Buck Bunny and Sintel.

An alternate career would be in software. I am passionate about software design.

There’s a huge opportunity to be the first really well-designed 3D app, and I think Blender should be it.

Marius: What were the turning points in your career – who or what inspired your life and where you are today?

Francesco Siddi, at the center of the Blender world

F.SiddiI first met Francesco last year at YABC, in Gdansk. It was my first Blender-related conference, and my first in-person contact  with the community. The second meeting was in Amsterdam at BConf, where he hosted the visit at the Blender Institute. It was then when we agreed to contribute at Caminandes, which resulted in RenderStreet’s servers crunching the Gran Dillama episode.

Francesco joined the Blender Institute in 2012 and is now one of the deepest involved people in the Blender world. He was involved in the Gooseberry campaign and also in the previous open movies done by the Institute. I asked him to answer a few questions for us, and he agreed, so read on for the good part.

The V-Ray for Blender story by Andrei Izrantcev

Photo of Andrey Izrantzev

Andrei Izrantcev, Developer of V-Ray for Blender

This February V-Ray was officially released for Blender, but the story of the integration started a few years ago. Our guest is Andrei Izrantcev, the man who decided to put together his favorite rendering engine and his passion for open source. What started out as a personal project, managed in his spare time, is now a fully functional part of the V-Ray product line. Now Andrei is a full-time developer at Chaos Group, focused exclusively on V-Ray for Blender.

The story comes from Andrei himself in an interview about the V-Ray for Blender project, telling us how it began and what we can look forward in the months to come.