Artist Spotlight: Carson Reed
Carson Reed is a talented indie 3D animator and lead VFX artist on "My name is Byf", a popular YouTube channel known for its high-quality Destiny lore videos. Learn more about his 3D journey, Blender workflow, and the artists who inspire him. Rokoko sat down with Carson for a Q&A that we hope can inspire other creators in the community. Enjoy the read!
When did you start your animation journey? Is there one thing (or more) you wish you had known before starting?
My animation journey really began in May of 2020 after I had finished school and had a lot more freetime. Some of the things I wish I had known before my dive into animation, would be just how confusing things would be at times. If you are ever interested in 3D or a similar art, be prepared to have long nights of problem solving.
Do you have some tips on going from enthusiast to professional artist?
A few tips I’d recommend carrying around would be to always look for feedback. Always ask for critique and notes from others that you value their opinion. Another tip I’ve found quite helpful is whenever you’re just starting out in a new software, allocate some time to break things on purpose and then spend even more time figuring out ways to fix those issues in a variety of different ways. This will definitely help out long term as there will come a time when the software randomly breaks and this level of messing around will be helpful.
Kiss, marry, kill - software edition: Which 3D software would you kiss, which would you marry, which would you kill and why?
A software I would marry would be Blender. It’s rarely let me down and has always had my back. From the shader networks and super customizable UI and features, I’m able to always update my workflow without much hassle. I would strangle the life out of 3DS Maya as the unintuitive workspace and keybinds make for an extremely difficult time doing some of the more basic tasks that in other softwares, I click a single button. I would kiss Unreal Engine as it’s super easy to get really great results. From it’s new features found in UE5 such as Lumen and Nanite, my workflow is no longer slowed down by my optimization attempts.
What is the hardest part of the workflows you tried so far?
In the beginning of my career, I started learning with destructive workflows and using anything other than a procedural method of modeling. This workflow was difficult to get out of practice in my now more non-destructive and nearly fully procedural workflow but eventually I think I’ve gotten the hang of it.
What are your favorite learning platforms (youtube channels, websites, etc)? Can you recommend some tutorials or resources?
Ian Hubert’s quick tutorials on youtube can actually lead to creative ways to twist what he’s done in his video and you’re able to craft new but similar methods and get an entirely different result. With the videos being bite-sized, you’re also able to easily watch them without being bored and feeling unsatisfied.
What inspires you the most when working with the Destiny IP?
The most inspiring part of Destiny is how vast the lores and stories are. Due to the world being extremely open and vague, this allows for a ton of creative freedom that can make sense in a grand scale.
Are there other sources of inspiration for your work that you want people to check out?
My good friend Drexis Animations, he’s unfortunately unable to work on any more Destiny 3D animations but he and I have worked on numerous projects in the past. Another person who I’d recommend taking a look at would be Kevin Ayotte, he and I worked on Dynasty together for several long months and his work always impresses me.
What’s your take on NFTs: Have you considered jumping in on the trend?
I’ve heard some positives and some negatives regarding NFTs and at this current point I have no intention of joining the latest craze, however I do hope artists who genuinely put effort and hard work into their art that market to NFT’s do well in their field!
Do you have a dream project you wish to work on in the future?
I am hopeful to work on a Destiny TV show or film. I believe that would be a huge spike in my career.
We love having talented 3D artists such as yourself on our Discord server. What do you think are the top 3 things that make 3D communities such as Discord successful?
Having an active and helpful community is extremely helpful for 3D artists as they’re able to easily send a work in progress, and instantly receive feedback and critiques on their art.Another thing is small fun challenges, something that invokes curiosity from those outside of the Discord who might want a peak behind the curtains and see the challenges Rokoko hosts.Proper management is also critical, making sure as many people as possible are kept safe and feel as though their voices are heard properly.
Who are the best 3D artists in our space for you?
Personally, I find Ian Hubert, Clint Jones, Peter France, and Loacher Films extremely talented individuals and I always enjoy watching their videos. Ian Hubert’s faster tutorials are always enjoyable to watch and find my own twist to. Clint and Peter have fantastic creative ideas when it comes to using Rokoko’s Motion Capture Suite that I always enjoy. Loacher Films takes Unreal Engine and the Rokoko Suite to a whole other level with his short films that I will continue to rewatch whenever I can.
Thank you Carson, we can't wait to see what you produce next!
Thousands of digital creators like Carson choose Rokoko motion capture tools to facilitate and speed up the character animation process. Don't hesitate to book a Zoom demo with our team, we'd be happy to show you how our tools work and answer all your questions. Or watch Carson using Rokoko mocap, for his Virtual Production vlog, you'll get a good understanding of the tools as well.