Artist: Ramy Hanna
Hi Ramy! You sit down for an interview for a job and they ask.. “So tell me about yourself”.. how do you respond?
I got my bachelor’s from Texas A&M in Environmental Design, more commonly known as architecture. Then I got a masters in Computer Art from Savannah College of Art and Design. I’m fortunate to have studied both architecture and 3D, and actually use both in my current work. I now work at SHW Group, which is an architecture firm dedicated to design in education. At SHW I have been responsible for creating renderings, animations and presentations of various kinds. It’s crazy to think that I’ve now been doing renderings and animations close to a decade and every day I’m still learning something new. That’s what’s great about this industry, technology is always changing.
On your Social Life pieces.. was that difficult to keep all of that together? Did you start with the scenes put together and then work in reverse?
The School of the Future project is probably not as complex as it may look. For the renderings themselves, the model was actually built in SketchUp, imported into 3ds Max as a finished piece. The animation was first keyed with the building altogether, then I exploded the building by pulling apart all the pieces. Then keyed the model again with all the geometry separated. Then for the animation itself, I just flipped the keys around in 3ds Max. So yes, I guess I was working in reverse for that one.
Any go to music to put on while you are working?
Lately I’ve been listening to Grover Washington Jr and Jamiroquai to keep me in the zone as I’m working on projects.
Growing up, did you always see yourself in 3D or Architecture?
Actually no. As a child there really wasn’t any 3D around, and it wasn’t an established medium, but I always wanted to be a “cartoonist”. My inspirations were people like Walt Disney, Chuck Jones, and Tex Avery. It wasn’t until I saw Toy Story in the theaters that I knew I wanted to do 3D. Early in my 3D career, Brian Taylor’s Rustboy was also a huge inspiration, and helped me to understand many 3D concepts.
When you are not staring at computers, any hobbies or what do you do to keep busy?
Definitely family is a priority, and my wife and I have 3 little ones that keep us quite busy and entertained. I also go on annual hiking trips with some of my guy friends up in the mountains for a week, it’s my one week in the year to unplug from technology. But I also enjoy photography and playing a little jazz on my Taylor guitar when I get some free time.
Ever think about rendering out a house for yourself? (Heh, I know I have numerous times, just never have done it)
Ever think about rendering out a house for yourself?
This is actually something I’ve never even thought of doing for myself. Not sure if it’s because I never had the time to think about it. Ask me again when I’m retired
What is the first thought that usually pops in your head when you get up in the morning?
Usually the first thing I think about is what I need to get done that day, and how best to get it done
At the firm you are at, what is your average workload? How many environments are you responsible per month to rock out?
My workload from day to day changes, and the projects that I get to produce vary from complexity to turnaround. There have been times when I will work on four to five different projects all in the same day. Then there are other months where I will work on one project solid for the entire month. Much of it is dependent on the ambition of a project. Some projects are very straight forward and have a small scope like producing a single rendering, or even something as simple as creating a powerpoint. Then there are other projects that are very complex animations that contain serveral minutes of footage with dozens of camera shots, and render passes that all have to be composited together to create a finished video.
Do you have some go-to plugins for Max that helps in your daily production?
As far as plugins, I try to avoid using them if I can, and stick to Max out of the box as much as possible. The reason for that is when it comes time to render on our farm, I can send a job to another office and not have to worry about what plugins they have or don’t have installed, and I know it will work the first time. This is one of the reasons I have switched from v-ray to mental ray. I do use max-scripts quite a bit to achieve some workflow shortcuts. Currently the max-scripts I’ve been using the most is Artur Leão’s mr Unified Manager, and another script that that tweaks Arch & Design material settings globally.
Artist: Ramy Hanna