Industry solutions

Explore our ecosystem


Media & Entertainment

Industry solutions

Explore our ecosystem


Product & E-Commerce

Industry solutions

Explore our ecosystem


Education & CommunityHelp

Chaos Help Center

What are you looking for?

podcast banner

Ruairidh MacNeill — 3D Modeler, Moving Picture Company


Ruairidh “Roo” MacNeill’s love for 3D modeling began with sandcastles in Lightwave—and now, he’s working in London on blockbusters including Thor: Ragnarok, Alita: Battle Angel, and Wonder Woman 1984. In this podcast, Roo brings fresh insight into the trends reshaping the way VFX are produced, with procedural tools such as Houdini removing the industry’s reliance on hard-surface modelers.

Roo gives some candid tips about working in VFX, including his thoughts on getting a VFX-related degree, the importance of attending dailies, and why he’s on a race to the bottom of Rotten Tomatoes scores. He also dives into why he loves Modo—and talks about taking a rabbit across European borders.


Ruairidh MacNeill on ArtStation >

Ruairidh MacNeill on Instagram >

Ruairidh MacNeill on YouTube >

Ruairidh MacNeill on IMDb >



4:01 Ruairidh’s origin story—and why he’s called Roo

9:16 Starting on Thor: Ragnarok

13:46 Hard-surface and character modeling

20:45 The importance of attending dailies

23:40 Turbosquid modeling versus working on movies

28:40 Starting a job during a pandemic

32:16 Pubs and careers

38:48 The future of modeling

44:58 Thoughts on Blender and open-source software

50:31 Competing for low Rotten Tomatoes scores

55:33 Where Roo is going next

About the author

Christopher Nichols

Chris is a CG industry veteran and Director of Chaos Labs. He can also be heard regularly as the host of the CG Garage podcast which attracts 20,000 weekly listeners. With a background in both VFX and Design, Chris has worked for Gensler, Digital Domain, Imageworks and Method Studios. His credits include Maleficent, Oblivion and Tron: Legacy.

Originally published: September 7, 2021.
© Škoda Design

Subscribe to our blog.

Get the latest news, artist spotlight stories, tips and tricks delivered to your inbox.

By submitting your information you are agreeing to receive marketing messages from Chaos. You can opt-out at any time. Privacy Policy.

© 2023 Chaos Software EOOD. All Rights reserved. Chaos®, V-Ray® and Phoenix FD® are registered trademarks of Chaos Software EOOD in Bulgaria and/or other countries.