The Rise of CG Generalism and Moving Between Industries with John Waynick Ep. 69

Season #1

In this episode, John Waynick, shares his journey from game development to film and virtual production. He discusses the importance of understanding cinematography and the challenges of creating realistic environments. Jon talks about the value of game optimization techniques in virtual production and the impact of Unreal Engine 5's technology on asset creation. He also touches on the convergence of film and gaming, the role of AI in creative industries, and his approach to teaching game design at CG Pro. 


Time Stamps: 


00:02:21 John’s early interest in comic books and drawing, and how it led to his career in computer graphics.

00:04:42 John’s career progression from comic book art to 3D art, self-teaching, and early experiences in teaching.

00:11:01 The shift from specialized roles to generalist roles in the industry and the impact of technology on job roles.

00:13:40 The rise of generalist roles, the impact of virtual production, and John's view on the beauty of generalism.

00:15:18 The influence of budget considerations and oversaturation in the industry on the rise of generalist roles.

00:19:42 Advice on standing out in games through performance optimization and in film through an understanding of cinematography.

00:23:08 Explanation of how understanding camera works contributes to creating realistic scenes and the importance of depth of field.

00:24:17 Challenges and learning experiences when transitioning from working in games to working in film, particularly focusing on cameras and cinematography.

00:25:20 The initial challenges and the subsequent role in educating the team on optimizing game engines for virtual production.

00:28:46 Explanation of the Nanite feature in Unreal Engine 5, its benefits, and the considerations related to size on disk and geometry optimization.

00:31:31 Discussion on the importance of optimization, especially regarding size on disk and the impact on game installs, and the balance between visual detail and geometry.

00:35:20 Comparison of asset creation for film, games, virtual production, and Fortnite, highlighting the similarities and the importance of optimization techniques.

00:39:32 Advice for individuals transitioning from a game dev background to virtual production, focusing on learning cinematography and improving modeling and texturing skills.

00:44:21 Discussion on the relaxation in poly count considerations with Nanite, emphasizing the need for optimization but not to the same extent as before.

00:46:28 Explanation of the benefits and optimization of tessellation for landscapes and objects in Unreal Engine.

00:47:30 Discussion about John's interest in both the gaming industry and virtual production and the potential future career paths.

00:52:04 Exploration of the potential convergence of film and games, and the possibility of experiencing movies in a more interactive, ride-like manner.

00:58:35 Comparison of skills and experiences in the gaming, simulation, and virtual production industries, highlighting the transferability of skills.

01:00:57 Discussion about the current and potential impact of AI, machine learning, and neural networks on creative industries, addressing concerns and opportunities.

01:06:04 John gives his perspective on using AI as a tool to speed up workflow, while emphasizing the importance of understanding the underlying processes.

01:09:13 Encouragement to embrace and leverage AI while acknowledging ethical considerations and the importance of artists maintaining control of their work.

01:10:24 Discussing the limitations of describing visual details through words and the significance of visual representation in art and game design.

01:10:52 Exploring the challenges of conveying detailed descriptions in art and game design, and the necessity of visual aids.

01:13:38 Explaining a unique approach to game design education focused on concepts and critical thinking rather than step-by-step tutorials.


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