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Matt Tremblay / Red Digital

Matt Tremblay, Chief Designer at RED Digital Cinema and founder of RogueDZN, has been a long time user of KeyShot, bringing incredibly detailed visuals of top-of-the-line Digital Film cameras and custom luxury jewelry to the eyes of people around the world. We caught up with Matt to ask him about how he uses KeyShot throughout the product design process to create a wide variety of amazing 3D renderings.

What software do you use for 3D modeling?
SolidWorks always ends up being the program that meshes best with my modeling style. It’s a little wild when compared to the norm as well. I’m ok with sketches being red all down the side, and so is SolidWorks. Solidworks is like a wild horse that once broken to your liking it does exactly what you want. It does like to whine a bit, but then I simply say relations: DELETE-ALL! Then, wouldn’t you know it, everyone is happy again. This method is definitely not recommended for everyone, but for me it works, because I only move forward and never back. If something is wrong, I’ll just cut it the hell out of there and remodel it. For me, it just saves time. I would rather remodel a part from scratch rather then spend hours modeling it parametrically. But that’s just me. The amount of angst this causes you is directly relative to the number of changes you make. (Every solidworks teacher on planet right now is probably cursing at that monitor right now!)

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What brought you to the decision to use KeyShot?
I use whichever program limits me the least and gives me the best results in the shortest timeframe. That’s KeyShot. With their new animation features, KeyShot has a solid hold on the future of Industrial Design rendering. Luxion is in an amazing situation right now and they have the ability to take over the product design rendering and animation industry. I think they have done such an amazing job with the rendering portion. I would love to see them apply those same ideals to the animation side. Don’t get me wrong I love what they did. I simply think they could take the whole thing to next level by taking cues from some of the best in the business. I just don’t want there to be any limitations.

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What do you create renderings/animations of? How has it helped?
I render whatever I am currently working on. Detailed raytracing and light characteristics show your model in ways that you can’t see within the SolidWorks screen, even with Real-view graphics toggled on – you can’t see the subtleties of the way way light reacts to your product. In the end, no matter what program you are using, it’s all about the light and how advanced the controlling algorithms are.

You can see the direct benefits of the rendering on the RogueDZN website. What many people don’t know, is that almost every piece of RogueDZN’s structural website design (buttons/frames/360 spins) are all KeyShot renders. The images of the product are all actual photos except the 360 degree spins on the individual product pages.

So how does it help me? It helped me create a little world that you can travel around when your inside the website. A 3D world. But you don’t notice it unless you look very closely. And it allowed me to do the whole thing myself with the help of one other ninja-website-god that implements all of the features and makes the whole thing work.

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What has been your favorite project?
For RED:
I would have to say The RED EPIC and creating the accessory line to go with it. In particular the Tactical components and the Gunner system. It’s just so versatile and modular that you can make anything with it. It’s like having a set of tactical legos for your camera. The camera system is specifically designed to be able to morph from one camera shooting style to another very quickly. Movie sets are unforgiving places where time is key, and being able to change a camera’s functional attributes is a major plus in the industry. On the flip side, for still shooters and guerilla shots, the same concept applies. The less time you spend messing with your equipment, the more time you have to make beautiful pictures, wether they are in motion or still.

For RogueDZN:
It would have to be the Armadillo: C6-DARKHORSE. That thing is just so insanely intricate, and custom, that it trumps anything else by a mile. At first it simply looks like a black verison of the Armadillo:161. Then you take a closer look and you see each of the carbon fiber layers winking at you like little diamonds as you turn the bracelet in the light. It’s simple material/mechanical/design insanity. It’s exactly what it’s meant to be – zero compromise at any level. There is a reason companies don’t make something like this. They go broke. I just had to see the real thing, so I didn’t really have a choice.

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Are there any KeyShot tips you can pass along?
The only real tip I have is “Put in Miles.” It applies to really any program you start using. You need to put in time in front of any program you use. There is an idea out there that if you have a program, (say Photoshop), then you are a graphic designer. Not the case. For example, just because you have Michelangelo’s paint brushes doesn’t mean your going to be able to paint the Sistine Chapel. We all need to remember that computer programs are only tools that allow us to create.

The more time you spend the better and faster you get. Just because you have a program doesn’t mean you will be able to make beautiful things with it. Eat, sleep and breath that program and it becomes an extension of you brain. At that point anything becomes possible.

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