Grafik tells us some background behind his
Borgmann kindly allowed us to
"interview" him on the 19th January
2003. This is the full transcript from the
B: Tim, tell us a little
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
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
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
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
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
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.