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3D Portraits
Live action and CG merge in this spot for GE.


Apple in 3D

Vivian Rosenthal:

The tool that we come back to the most is our Final Cut setup, which combines Final Cut and Shake. That’s where projects start and end. When we initially sketch and rough out the structure of the project, it happens through Final Cut. As we work on a project and pieces are finished or up for review, we start to place these pieces in the project and render it out.

We’ve found that daily reviews are helpful, even though it’s a lot of work. It keeps everyone on the same page, both internally and with the client. For instance, right now with the Target project, we’ve been updating the project with all the renders on a day-to-day basis. We can check them against the rest of the edit, the music, the consistency of the color, everything. Final Cut is our most critical, critical tool.

Cinema 4D is also coming into play more for the CNC work we do. That’s another type of software that wasn’t so much on my radar, but it’s becoming more and more incorporated into our studio.

Michel Rojkind:

I normally work on the base part of the project with CAD software called ArchiCAD, which was designed for Mac. We use ArchiCAD to design the project, then send stuff to MaxonForm, which is a Cinema 4D program designed for ArchiCAD, so you can go back and forth between them.

We’re also doing stuff with Maya that we export into Cinema 4D, and then finally put the whole project together in ArchiCAD. We’re rendering a lot with Artlantis Studio, and we’ve also been trying out Maxwell. We do a lot of Flash for presentations as well.


“To cover international MotoGP racing for its speed-mad worldwide audience, media company 3D Portraits cuts quickly to the chase on fast Macs running Final Cut Studio.”

3D Portraits: Architecture Meets Animation

Mexico City-based architect Michel Rojkind and art director Vivian Rosenthal of Manhattan’s Tronic Studio have a lot in common. Both work with top-level international clients. Both are multi-disciplined creatives: Rojkind was a drummer in a popular Mexican rock band, while Rosenthal has an M.A. in architecture. And both use 3D Mac applications to develop and produce their work.
Vivian Rosenthal

Vivian Rosenthal

Rojkind and Rosenthal are constantly immersed in multiple, varied design projects. Rojkind recently created and built an ambitious façade for Nestlé’s chocolate factory in Toluca, Mexico, and is now working on strategies to enhance other Nestlé plants. His firm is currently refurbishing a 100-room hotel in Mexico City, and collaborating with urban planner Arturo Ortiz on the master plan for a major agricultural fair in Irapuato, Mexico. Rojkind’s work is also up for review in several international architectural competitions, including one for a mixed-use tower complex in Dubai and another for a large cultural and educational center in the Middle East.

Meanwhile Rosenthal, her partner Jesse Seppi, and their colleagues at Tronic Studio are wrapping up a massive public media installation for Target in Dallas, which merges live action and CG content on eight programmable 25-foot LED screens. A new TV spot they’ve created for Subaru brings to life a series of still photos. They’re also working on a series of all-CG anime shorts. And as the design firm for Wired Magazine’s annual NextFest, Tronic is responsible for the event’s architecture, branding, and signage.

When these two 3D experts met, they had plenty to share about their work, their tools, and their views on the future of architecture and design.


Michel Rojkind: Today it’s hard to imagine a company that works in design and doesn’t present at least some things in a 3D environment.

Vivian Rosenthal: Exactly. I don’t see how they could compete or keep up without it.

MR: Architecturally, it couldn’t be more necessary. You’re dealing with a 3D environment; you’re dealing with space. Even if you get a client excited about a project with 2D designs, he can have something totally different in his head.

Animations and walkthroughs and renderings are the closest you can get to physically building a project. When you work on an intimate scale, like designing a house, it becomes very personal. Clients are obsessed with the smallest details, like what color the lighting fixtures will be. And on large-scale projects, 3D designs are important as well, because of all the people involved — it can help get a project going, or even get funding sometimes.

VR: For us, working in 3D is critical. I can’t imagine not doing it that way. We usually don’t even do traditional storyboards anymore. We do 3D animatics — combined with 2D design work, they’re essential for selling the concept to the client. It allows them to see what’s in our heads, which otherwise would be a lot harder to convey. Like you said, if they were signing off on 2D sketches, then later on they might realize they were imagining something different.

MR: Vivian, I really love the things you do at Tronic with multimedia in a 3D environment. The mixture of reality and CG is just mind-blowing. But I have to ask: Since you guys come from an architectural background, do you miss doing architecture?

VR: It’s interesting, because we started in architecture and then moved into a totally 3D realm. Now our clients often ask us to do a hybrid. We love those projects, because it’s this convergence of architecture and media. We still love architecture, but honestly, when we’re making projects digitally, they exist on an architectural scale within the computer. We approach the projects from a similar design standpoint. You’re still dealing with similar constraints of scale, texturing, lighting, and the human body. It’s all the same components.

MR: That makes a lot of sense. When I’m designing a building, and the models and walkthroughs are finished, I’m always so anxious to start construction because it’s already built in my head. Luckily you don’t have to wait for that process! It takes forever to have a building built — unless we have conditions like this recent crazy project for Nestlé, where we were able to design and build in just two-and-a-half months.

VR: Yeah, that is pretty crazy! [Laughs.]

MR: I agree totally that when you build it in your head and then pass it to the computer and see it in the 3D environment, it’s done.


  • profile
    슈퍼맨 2007.09.16 02:34
    뭔 소리인지는 모르겠지만, 그림은 멋지군요. ㅎㅎ...
  • profile
    전우열 2007.09.16 02:34
    ㅋㅋ 시네마의 매력이란..ㅋㅋㅋ.-_-)b
  • profile
    머리긴혀기 2007.09.16 02:34
    리더 두사람이.. 여자하나 남자 하나인데.. 건축학 석사던가..
    기본적으로는 건축에 기본을 두고..
    작업물들이 굉장히 구조적이네요..

    동영상 보실 수 있습니다!!
  • profile
    전우열 2007.09.16 02:34
    ㅎㅎ 혀기님 찾아주시다니 감사합니다.. 건축석사..-_-;; 흠..
  • ?
    유재남 2007.09.16 02:34
    역시.. 시네마는... 알게 모르게 많은 곳에서 사용되고 있는 것 같습니다.
  • ?
    개털 2007.09.16 02:34
    음... 요즘 나오고 있는 두산건설 CM이 이걸봤군요.
    잘만들었다 싶었는데... 먼저 따라한사람이 임자로군요 ㅎㅎ...
  • ?
    꾸러기 2007.09.16 02:34
    멋진데요!! 시네마공부를 해아하는데,,, ㅠㅠ
  • ?
    홍종욱 2010.09.13 11:37



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