Interview: Javier Edo on Forger
Forger is the brainchild of Javier Edo, a Pipeline TD at Double Negative. By day he works writing tools for various departments for upcoming films, by night he enjoys sculpting characters and working on his own projects. We talk to Javier about his slick, new sculpting app for the iPad…
3D World: How did you come up with the idea of Forger?
Javier: I have always really liked sculpting in desktop apps and around three years ago I did some initial 3D test apps on the original iPhone. I thought that it could be fun having a simple sculpting app on a smartphone, so I wrote a tech demo for the iPhone, with the idea to use this as a fancy demo reel to find a job!
3D World: How did you work out what features it should have? Did you look at any other software for inspiration?
Javier: Having used a lot of the desktop software available I knew what tools I found useful and tried to incorporate these into Forger.
As for inspiration, if I could choose only one software package I would have to say Pixologic’s ZBrush. Their software was the first one and against all odds, each release they make is ahead of all the competition. On every release they will come up with a new groundbreaking idea, that’s amazing.
In reality the backend of Forger is written as a more generic 3D software than a sculpting app, as I am planning on reusing the same core for my other projects. For the underlying mechanics my inspiration has been a mixture of Maya and 3ds Max and the best bits of the Houdini API (their python API is just plain amazing).
3D World: Is this an app that you would use in your day-job?
Javier: The way I could see it being used professionally would be as a quick concepting tool, since it doesn’t require too much equipment.
Artists could do some quick concepts while sitting next to a director or art director. However, in its current state, to be 100% fair it still misses some really necessary features to be considered for real projects.
3D World: What’s next for Forger? For example, are you working to increase the geometry count for the next version?
Javier: I really don’t like to talk much about features that will be added in the future. The truth is that I have big plans for it, but I don’t want to promise anything that may not happen since this is not my main job and everything depends on whether I get a few minutes a day to spend on it or not!
For now I can tell you that there are plans for an iPhone version (it was originally written for it after all!) and that the vertex limit is purely based on an OpenGLES limitation as you can only submit, data indexable by “unsigned shorts” which limits the amount of geometry in one draw call to a maximum of 65,535 indices. I can work around it, and split it (transparently for the user) in several draw calls, but as a user myself I think that at the moment is better to improve other areas in the app and to tackle this in the future.
I have already started to work in the next version, you will hopefully see some updates in the near future.
3D World: Do you have any plans to create anything else?
Javier: I would like to do a small 3D game some day for smartphones, doing all the programming and graphics myself.
Find out more about Forger
iPad app review
Since we put up news of this sculpting tool, we’ve reviewed it.
Read 3D World’s review of Forger 1.0
on Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 at 10:36 am under Features.
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Tags: double negative, forger, javier edo