Maker Series - Chapter 48
A Magical Wonderland of Endless Possibilities
Patrick Blades, 3D Artist, UK
Fabrik: We're so happy to have you as our most recent Maker. We’d love for you to share a little bit more about yourself?
Patrick Blades: "I'm the kind of person who could solve a Rubik's Cube blindfolded while simultaneously composing a symphony in my head and reciting the complete works of Shakespeare."
Fabrik: Yikes, that sounds like nosebleed territory! What's your favourite aspect of creating 3D art? Is there something you specialise in and enjoy the most?
Patrick Blades: "Well, the world of 3D art is like a magical wonderland filled with endless possibilities and boundless creativity. It's a place where dreams become reality and reality becomes, well, even more awesome. As a generalist I have a more holistic understanding of the entire 3D production process. I can see the big picture and understand how each step of the process fits into the overall goal."
Fabrik: What was the initial brief and inspiration behind the music video for Megan Thee Stallion & Dua Lipa's 'Sweetest Pie’? Could you touch briefly on what some of your responsibilities were as a 3D Artist for 'Sweetest Pie’?
Patrick Blades: "On this project I was assigned with the task of recreating Megan Thee Stallion's butt twerking realistically in 3D, an asset that is both iconic and notoriously difficult to capture."
Fabrik: 'Sweetest Pie' dances through an Eden-esque garden to a hellscape. Could you tell us about your creative process and how you visualised these scenes with Megan Thee Stallion's risqué lyrics?
Patrick Blades: "When tasked with creating a visual accompaniment to Megan Thee Stallion's risqué lyrics, we knew we had to go big or go home. We used a combination of cutting-edge software and old-fashioned elbow grease to create the world of "Sweetest Pie", from the swaying trees and rustling leaves to the flames and smoke of the underworld. Of course, we also had to work closely with Megan herself to make sure that the visuals matched her vision."
Fabrik: Could you tell us about the tools you used to create 'Sweetest Pie', and why?
Patrick Blades: "UPP uses Houdini and Maya to create cutting edge visual effects."
Fabrik: What were some of the most challenging parts of being the 3D Artist on this job, and what were the most rewarding?
Patrick Blades: "As a 3D artist, I've tackled some pretty bizarre projects in my time. But I have to say, creating a room with walls covered in twerking butts was definitely up there as one of the most challenging tasks I've ever faced. We're talking about a room filled with hundreds, maybe thousands of animated butts, all shaking and jiggling in unison. It was a daunting prospect, to say the least. The first step was to really dive into the research.
We studied every aspect of butt twerking we could find, from the physics of the motion to the subtle variations in muscle tone and movement. From there, we began to experiment with different modelling techniques, trying to find the perfect balance between realism and stylization. It was a delicate dance, but we eventually found a method that worked. Of course, the real challenge was animating all those butts. We had to create a complex system that would allow us to control the motion of each individual cheek, while also making sure that they all moved in sync with each other."
Fabrik: It (t)werks! How would you compare the pace of working on music videos to working on commercials?
Patrick Blades: "As someone who has directed a few music videos and worked on a number of commercials as a 3D artist, I would say there are some key differences in the pace of work between the two.
One of the most significant factors is budget. Music videos are typically produced with much smaller budgets than commercials, which means that there is often less time and resources available for the project. This can lead to a more fast-paced workflow, with tight deadlines and a need to be efficient with every step of the process. That being said, despite the smaller budgets, music videos often have just as much ambition when it comes to visuals - if not more so. There is a lot of pressure to create something unique and visually stunning that will stand out in a crowded field, which means that there is often a lot of experimentation and innovation involved in the process."
Fabrik: I guess it also gives you a canvas on which to try stuff that's been running through your mind recently. Are you able to give us insight on any exciting new projects that you may have in the pipeline?
Patrick Blades: "Well, I'm afraid I can't reveal any specific details about upcoming projects just yet, but let's just say that there are some exciting things in the pipeline."
Final question. Can't wait! What do you like most about Fabrik? What's your favourite feature?
Patrick Blades: "The interface is incredibly user friendly, with a clean and intuitive layout. Overall, I'd say as an artist, Fabrik makes it easy to showcase work in a beautiful and professional way."
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We're always keen to see what you've created. Follow our social feeds and tag your new work with #onfabrik when you're ready to show it to the world. Apologies; we can't add spec work, ads or commercial content to our Maker or Conditioner series.