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By (BT)Grafik 2002
article - (BT)Grafik

(BT) Grafik tells us some background behind his famous images:

Tim Borgmann kindly allowed us to "interview" him on the 19th January 2003. This is the full transcript from the conversation:

B: Tim, tell us a little about yourself:

T: Hi, I'm 32 and am living in Wuppertal, Germany with my wife and son. After studying Communication Design I worked as a freelancer for a few years. In 1997, I founded BT-GRAFIK with a friend.

B: How long have you been using Real ?

T: Since 1995 I think. I bought REAL 3D V2.5 and a Pentium 90 MHz with fantastic 16 mb RAM, for my first 'real' 3D job.

B: Can you tell us a bit about BT-Grafik ?

T: We are an advertising agency. While my partner does most of the print related work, I do all the 3D , multimedia and animation bits. We are mainly working on classic stuff like corporate design, print media, webdesign, DVD and 3D illustration/animation.

B: You have close ties with Realsoft Oy in Finland - what projects have you been involved with them ?

T: As a Beta tester I was involed in the test phase before the first release of Realsoft 3D.
We got the request from DID to do some images to illustrate the power and features of the new program. After working on this we were asked to design the manual, then the package and so on. This way we came to design a lot of stuff for the first release.

B: You were the man responsible for creating the Realsoft 3D "logo": The Pocket Knife. How long did it take you to make this model and did you expect it to be used for such a purpose ?

T: The idea of the pocket knife was originaly created for a print advertising from DID for V4 in the german Digital Production magazine to illustrate the features of V4. After doing the first test models and renderings it was shown to DID and RS. They liked it so much they decided to make it the feature image of V4. The final modeling did not take such a
long time if I remember correctly . Maybe a day. At this time I also started to get indepth with VSL, so the materials and rendering took much more (testing)time :)

B: Your in Germany, and Realsoft is in Finland - how did you go working remotely ? What challenges did this present ?

T: Internet makes it possible ;-). I remember the day when some parts of the manual printing data was ready and I went to the post office to send it to Finland. After I got the information how long it would take and what costs were involved, I went back to the office and we transferd all the data over night via internet ;-).
So we were able to work on different chapters, the box and the cd layout, making changes and so on and transfer it with ftp as soon as it was ready. Last year I met Vesa at a developer converence in Hanburg and some others of the beta team personaly and it was very funny to talk to people in 'realtime' you only knew from mails or phone.

B: Your renoun amongst Realsoft circles for making some amazing VSL materials (Rust, wood, metals etc) What inspires you to make such complex materials ?

T: I don't know. These materials are growing themself. The material options of REAL 3D were the reason why I bought
the software. The first time I had my fingers on VSL it felt like chirstmas. I'm not a programmer and bad in maths, but VSL gives me the possibilty to do really complex procedural materials from an artists point of view. So it happens that I begin with a material and it grows and grows to more and more features. Sometimes I'm really surprised what happened to the material in the end.

B: What sort of work do you enjoy doing (3D / illustrations / compositions) ?

T: I started with illustration a long time ago, working with pencil, ink, oil and airbrush. After getting my first computer and a copy of POVRAY I saw the artistic possiblities of doing images in 3D. Lights and materials have always been my main interest, even when I was painting. 3D offers me fantastic possibilities to work on this focused.

B: Do you use any other 3D applications / how do you think Realsoft 3D fairs in comparison ?

T: I also use Lightwave and Lightscape. I decide on project basis what tool I use and sometimes I even mix some features of the one and some of the other. It's really difficult to compare them, because they are very different in my opinion. I like the GI quality of Lightscape, I think it's some of the best, but I hate the workflow. Lightwave has some fine features in modelling, animation and rendering. It's a very productive tool and there are a lots of plugins such as Sasquatch or G2 which enhance its productivity even more. But when it comes to realistic materials and rendering tasks I mostly use RS3D, because of VSL and its render engine.
Also some modelling tools are really great (particularly the SDS and Nurbs tools). They are not available in such a handy way in all the other tools I know. Alltogether, I think in production you never use only one tool, but the best of different tools.

B: What other packages do you use to integrate RS3D into your workflow (eg. photoshop / Digital fusion / Promethean FX) ?

T: Mainly Photoshop and After Effects. For now this is enough. A good place to say thank you to Michael Schmeling for his OBJ and PSD plugins :)

B: Do you have any pet projects that you would like to do but cannot for one reason or another ? (too busy, too hard, no time)

T: Oh, there are too many projects I would like to work on, but there is so little time. I want to do some more abstract work in 3D with the focus on lights and materials. Also I want to improve my photorealistic skills. I think I've to do more organic and character related stuff, because I've done so much dead and technical objects. One of my alltime targets is to write more shaders and such stuff to improve productivity and workflow. Maybe a shader library sometime.

B: Version 4.5 - have you found the new version beneficial to your work ?

T: Absolutly. Especialy some smaller features like the disable checkbox in VSL operators are really a time and nerv saver. Also the shadow mapping feature integrates more and more to my workflow.

B: Do you have any long term plans in where you would like to see RS head ?

T: I hope RS continuously increase the productivity of workflow to reach more professional studios and is used in professioal, high quality work.

B: And finally, is there anything you wish to say to the RS community ?

T: Keep on the good spirit. I think the RS community is one of the most tolerant and helpful I've seen.

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