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.
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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