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  • Writer's pictureDavid Gidali

Ep-15: Tyson Ibele, the CG community's wiz-kid who can't stop blowing our minds.

Tyson Ibele is a self-taught CG artist, director, mobile game designer and 3D software developer. He lives in Toronto, and works remotely for Minneapolis-based VFX studio MAKE. In his spare time, he's released several mobile games and is about to release a new 3D simulation software, TyFlow.

Tyson grabbed the attention of the CG community all the way back in the early 2000s, with his entries to's "challenges" and the 10-seconds club (Which were highly popular back then and a great way to get noticed). His highly stylistic and polished animation style stood out, but also his incredibly fast output at short time intervals, not to mention his young age: he was barely 20 when he showcased work that made industry veterans pale in comparison.

As a young CG artist myself, I remember scratching my head in disbelief and examining his work frame-by-frame to try and understand how can he possibly do what he does, and so quickly. However I tried to rationalize it, the math didn't make sense unless I factored in zero errors in his planning and workflow. His talent and skills were unquestionable, and I was eager to see how he would capitalize his incredible skills. Will he start directing original animated content? Commercials? Will he lose interest and quit and become a farmer? Ultimately I got my answer when he launched his new website and chronicled his several mobile game development projects - Jungle Moose, Zombox, Bean Boy and The Quest Keeper. His games showcase characters, animations and environments in his trademark style, along with a mastering of a new craft yet: game design and programming.

Taking on programming seemed to have opened up the appetite to even bigger challenges - and so his latest project (which he had to put his Zombox project on hold for) is TYFLOW - which is an effort to re-write 3D Studio Max's an old and outdated particle simulation software, "Particle Flow". Taking on himself a project usually developed by teams of programmers and CG artists, Tyson seems to be fast on his way to disrupt the CG software community just like he did the CG artist community back in the day - and highlight inefficiencies in current-day development of big 3D software packages.

At the very least, TyFlow is expected to be a fun and exciting new tool. But it could theoretically do much more than that and rekindle the CG community's reliance on 3DS Max as the versatile and exciting tool it once was.

“I remember talking to my co-worker over Skype and being like 'I should just remake Particle Flow' it was kind of a joke. But then I became so frustrated on one particular project that I went at the end of the day after work and just started developing a brand new plug-in project [...] what now motivates me to continue working on and develop it's the idea that people who use and love 3ds max like myself can now actually have a competent, updated modern simulation tool-set."

In this episode we talked about Tyson's inspirations, his work-life balance, what motivates his creativity and why he decided to stay away from the big VFX houses and work remotely out of his Toronto home.

Relevant links:

Most recent TyFlow example video:

Assorted previous TyFlow sample videos:

Various CG projects by Tyson Ibele (circa 2010):

Make - showreel:

Hemlock - short by Tyson Ibele (2009 - made for CGTalk's Steampunk challenge):

Show notes:

Rubber Johnny by Chris Cuningham:

Trailer for Mandy by Panos Cosmatos:

Opening and closing song: "14 Days" by Akın Sevgör.

Stay tuned for episode 16, featuring Sasha Vinogradova, senior designer at The Mill. Hope to see you next time!

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