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Matt Fairclough — Founder and Lead Developer, Terragen

Since the early 2000s, Terragen has been used to create photorealistic and geologically correct landscapes and skyscapes for movies including Star Trek: Nemesis, Thor: Ragnarok, Star Wars — and even the Paramount Pictures logo. In this podcast Chris talks to Matt Fairclough, the incredible mind behind the software.

Matt tells Chris about his journey from creating graphics and music on an Amiga to a key component of movie effects, via posts at game developer Team 17 and effects studio Digital Domain. The podcast becomes really fascinating when Matt delves into the theories and algorithms which help us model the real world in CG, including Martian skies, California fires — and a deep dive into milk and subsurface scattering.

Listen to this podcast and you’ll never look at the landscape or sky in the same way again.


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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: January 7, 2019.
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