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Interview with Tim Borgamnn

Interview with Tim Borgamnn

Makingof Escalator

Makingof Escalator by Lionel Verlinden - Autodesk 3ds max

Interview with SideFX / Houdini

Interview with SideFX / Houdini

Makingof Fuchsia

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Makingof Spider

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 Interview with Tim Borgmann

Written by Benoît Saint-Moulin
Date : 2009-12-23 18:11:00


I'm very proud to post on TDT3D an interview of Tim Borgmann a so well know and famous Designer / Abstract artist !

Tim are doing very great abstract pictures, it's time to know more on how he is doing this and more on his work :-)


Hello, Tim. Can you explain us how do you get into CG art ?
I originaly started with classic painting and illustration using oil colours, airbrush and so on.

During my study of communication design I got my first computer ( a 486 with 2 mb of ram :). I soon discovered the unbelievable possibilities while playing with a command line renderer called POVray. It took many hours to render a scene, but I totally felt in love with the possibility to create some kind of virtual photo.

Due to the fact that surfaces and light have always been my main focus while painting I started to get deeper into 3D.

When do you really start working in CG, your first job ?
My first job was still during my study. I had worked with some command line renderer at this time and some people saw these images and animations.

So I got the offer to do a visualisation of a machine for an industrial film. For this job I bought Real 3D, my first 3D program with modeler, animation system and renderer in once.



I think you are a Freelancer ? Is this the best solution for 3D artists in Germany ?
Yes, I'm a freelancer. I don't know if this is the best solution. When I started there weren't so much companies who hire people onsite for doing 3D. So it was a natural evolution for me to become a freelancer.

Today I like it very much to be free and to work on different projects, learning new things with every job.

You created BT-grafik, are you only a one man band or do you have many employed peoples with you ?
BT-grafik was a small advertising company I founded with a good friend. He did all the print stuff while I did all the 3D stuff and animation parts.

At this time we also offered webdesign and some other multimedia solutions. But at the end of the nineties I realized that my main focus is 3D.

So I left BT-Grafik to concentrate on 3D only. But it's still some kind of free network between my friend and me today.



As we have a common 3D application background (Real3D), when did you start to use this software ?
As mentioned above I bought Real 3D for my first real job. I think it was maybe 1994 or 1995 at version 2.5 if I remember right. At this time I compared all the tools which were available for a PC and Real 3D seems to fit best for the task because of it's analytical objects and material system.

I had to do some animated boolean operations for this animation and so the analytical objects were a great help.

If I'm right, you're still using RealSoft3D in 2007, what's best can describe it compared to others competitors ?
To be honest I mostly use Softimage|XSI today. Sometimes I still use Realsoft for some special modeling tasks and in some cases for my free art work, but for production work I use XSI mainly.

I think Realsoft 3D is a very specialized software. It has some nice special modeling and rendering features on the one side, but on the other side it's sometimes to complicated or to slow for daily tasks.



How do you see the future of RealSoft3D ? (RealSoft dev. seams to get a lot of time between each release)
I think it will be still a special solution with some really great features but I doubt it will become a production tool for a wide range of people soon.

Realsoft always had some special features which were great and which are missing in some other packages. I still like the different object types (analytical, NURBS and SDS), the easy boolean functions which are easy to animate and the material system with it's freedom to mix it on a hierachy level. Also the vsl and channel system and so the render engine is great in some areas.

But all this freedom and features have their price. For some tasks it's far to complicated and some of the today state of the art features are implemented in a very special way which leads to some kind of unproductivity.

Also some basic features which are absolutely needed for daily production work are still missing. But who knows, maybe this will change in future.


With RealSoft3D you are also using Softimage XSI ?
Yes. I also used Lightwave for some years (I think it was from version 5.5 to 7.5) as an addition to Realsoft. But than I discovered XSI as a great tool which fits my workflow best. At this time I was working in a team which used XSI. I also have worked with other programs like cinema 4d, rhino, maya and so on.

I think it's best to be open minded to every tool. Just try it and see if it works for you and the job you have to do. I always choose my tools depending on what I want to do.

You art series images are absolutly amazing (Fragment, Abstract, Microscope), do you still continue using RealSoft3D to produce them or do you try to do them in XSI also?
The abstract.0104 and the microscope series were done in Realsoft 3D but the fragment series is done in XSI as a logical development. I had to rethink in some areas and to change my workflow here and there.

But in the end I have even more possibilities and freedom now.



Do you use Math / Procedural modeling techniques to produce this kind of pictures ?
No, defintely not. I'm not very good in math :) It's more a free combination of the tools out of the box.

From time to time I wrote a little script to make repeating steps easier, but that's all. The math in the materials is mostly try and error with some research in the internet.

With the time I learned some math basics I need for the materials, but most modeling is pure handwork.

Do you sketch ideas on paper before or start from the scratch ?
Not when I do free art work. It's the process of the evolution of an image that facinates me.

I start with a really rough idea and then look where the journey will go.

Every step leads to another and I really like it to see the image growing. It's more like some kind of dialogue between the nascent image and me.



Do you ever try Houdini for procedural modeling ? (I know Houdini is outch!)
No, unfortunately not until now.

It was always on my to do list, but until today I didn't found the time to try it. It seems to be very interesting but also very learning intensive.

I hope I will find some time in future to take a closer look at this very interesting piece of software.

Do you think you can recreate your series in XSI ?
Yes, more or less.

I don't think a software will really border you. I think a 3D software is a tool like a penil or brush. Some are better for this and some are better for that. But it's not the brush who paint the image.

On the other side I wouldn't do it, because there is no need to recreate something I already did in Realsoft in XSI. I will rather do new images in XSI :)



Can you explain us your process to create such images ?
As mentioned above I start with a rough idea or I see something interesting on the screen while playing with for example particles. I than try to pick out the part that interest me and to accentuate it's special beauty in see in it.

For the abstract.0104 series for example I simply started an image by drawing some lines into 3D space. I that begin to use different tools to convert them to nurbs surfaces, deform them, converting them back to curves, adding displacement and so on. When I saw an interesting shape or detail I concentrated on this part and started to light and shade the scene using an interesting camera angle.

The shading were mostly done procedrual because I like it to be independent when it comes to output resolutions or small details. Like in nature I want to be able to see more details when I get closer to the surface.

On the other Side you also produce a lot of Design products / Pictures ?
That's my commercial work where I live from. Doing illustrations and animations for advertising agencies, industrial designer and TV commercials.

My free art projects are a great balance for me, giving me the freedom to experiment and to discover new ways without a tight deadline.



You was recently published in Exposé 5 (and before Exposé 2), how do you do the choice of the published picture(s) ?
I'm in all Expose books and still can't believe it. It's so amazing to be published together with such great work.

Regarding the choice I have to say that I simply take some images I had at this time without thinking about if they will be published or not.

It was a pure emotional decision.

Do you think today young (sorry we are roots ;) ) 3D artists must be more technicals or artists in mind ?
If you don't want to be a pure specialized technical director I think the artistic part is maybe more important.

Tools can be and sometimes have to be learned and btw they are in steady development so you always have to learn new things.

I personally think it's surely useful to have some technical understanding of what is going on behind the scenes but the artistic skills are the ones which are important if you want to work creative.

On the other side I think it's very difficult to give an advice because it's difficult to define what is artistic and what technical. I know some technical people who are thinking more creative than some artists.

So, even more important is a passion for what you are doing. You should really have a passion for images or animations if you want to work in this area. It's not an 8 hours job and you have to be in steady development, learning new things, rethinking your workflow and discover new techniques :)

If you have a real passion for your work your main goal will be to become better and better.



Final words you would like to say ? Advise to TDT3D users who want follow you art's style ?
Just try what you want to do. Free your self from any traditional borders.

You should have fun and passion when working on free art projects. While it is very nice to learn pure handcraft you sometimes have to take a step back and maybe rethink your workflow in a creative way.

Just be open minded and don't border yourself too much.
Best regards



Websites :

Making-of Dynamo Making-of Still Life Timbre en réalité augmentée Les outils de plantes 3D ? Comparatif Terragen Vs. Vue

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