6 Seconds of Brilliance: The Post-Apocalypse In-Motion Winner
by Jordan Hilliard
We saw quite an impressive lineup for the Post-Apocalypse's #KB3Dcontest's In-Motion entries this time around and Cheng Liu snagged first place by conveying an emotional story, mesmerizing atmosphere and excellent composition-- all in just 6 seconds! Though we are still not sure we believe him, Cheng has only been in the industry for 2 years and is ecstatic to share his thoughts and processes below!
Cheng, how long have you been an artist?
While I have been working for almost two years now, I still consider myself very naive, so I cannot claim to be an artist.
My first independent film was a very childish short film called “Single Lamp”. When I first started my internship, I wanted to prove myself, so I spent almost half a year to complete this short film.
Wow I think the folks at Pixar might be giving you a ring soon! It's incredible that you've only been in the industry for 2 years and you can produce works like these. Please tell us your secrets! What is your process before starting a project like this?
Don't jinx me! Generally, I will start my process by gathering references from other works to analyze how other artists frame and light their scenes. From there, I will start to conceptualize my own visions based off the work I've digested, then I will start to build approximate scenes with boxes, and then move on to enrich those scenes with detail.
Right about now is when I start pulling out the KitBash3d models :) After I've played around with my composition, I will move onto the last part: lighting and rendering. I usually use octane or redshift as the renderer, and I work mainly in 3d since I can't draw!
It took me two days to set up the scene. In the beginning, the lighting part and the material felt very ugly to me. I nearly wanted to give it all up, but I thought about how much effort I had already put into it, so chucking it all out would have been an even bigger waste if I did not continue. So I swallowed my pride and rearranged the scene, and the lighting materials finally began to complete this picture.
My favorite part of the process by far was seeing everything come together once the render was finalized. The process itself -- everything that it took to get there-- should be my favorite as they say, but it was quite painful at times. As always though, I thanked myself for persevering.
And finally, why do you make art?
For as long as I can remember, I have always been a huge fan of American dramas and movies, and recently in the Golden Age of television, shows like Game of Thrones have especially inspired me. It is a dream of mine to one day be as good as the artists I have admired so much over these past few years.
Well, Cheng Liu, by looking at your portfolio and what you've accomplished so far in just 2 years, we'd say you'll have no problem doing just that.
Cheng Liu is is a motion designer residing in
Beijing, China. He is our 1st place winner for the In-Motion category for The Post-Apocalypse #KB3DCONTEST!!! Make sure to congratulate him on his winning entry over at his Instagram!
Make sure to check out Cheng's other works in-motion on his Vimeo!