Creative genius, Thom Schillinger of, awesome finalRender stuff !


Cebas: Please give us an update paragraph about yourself - what have you been busy with lately! Thom, you are so prolific in your work that we thought we would revisit you.

Thom: I have been doing 3D Conceptual Design work since 1995 as I am self trained in 3D Studio. I started in the DOS R4 version, and have been with 3DS Max ever since. I also have been a first day adopter of finalRender 0.0! I had used other plug-ins prior to the great GI renderer. I immediately incorporated version 0.0 into production back in 2000.

I use the tools for Industrial Design, Theme Park design, and retail space design, but my current bread and butter work is with the Theatrical Entertainment print-work, which are primarily Movie poster 3D illustrations.

I am a "One man Army" per Bo Opfer at 9K9 Studios. So the pic is of just me :-)
(in case you're wondering: 9K9 ....)

Cebas: Thom, you’re one of the pioneering friends of Cebas and your specialty has always been concept art and a lot of your work are focused on 3D models. What are the major changes you see through these years in terms of how ‘3D’ has evolved (as for the artists and his/her work and as for the market)?

Thom: 2D Concept work is very scarce, so as a 3D Designer I added 3D to my skill set for two reasons; first to add a skill that is stand alone, but also to add the skill so I can build my own designs, and that latter reason has been a great asset I offer to my clients as they get two positions in one.

Cebas: Today there are countless software for visual effects out there in the market and many artists sometimes wonder which one is the best to invests in - what is your advice to them?

Thom: I recommend simply use software that is industry standard both in the base 3D software and any plug in renderer. Look at the job boards to see what clients are looking for.


Cebas: Could you give us some background and insights on any latest project with cebas software? How did your work go - were there any challenges?

Thom: I use Cebas on every project I render, and Movie Poster 3D work is a prime segment of what I do, so all poster work is rendered with FR. I also use it for Pre-Vis work for automotive and Architectural clients as well. Recently I have been doing International translations of Movie Titles in 25+ languages, as I did with the Avengers film last year, as well as with PAN this season.

Cebas: You are unique in the sense of being very much into commercial 3D such as creating unique logos and fonts - can u tell us what attracted you most to this line of work and how do you get inspired?

Thom: I was between gigs back in the Summer of 2000, and was introduced to a Creative Director in the Poster industry, so I stepped into the work, not knowing I'd still be in this 15+ years going forward. As an Industrial Design grad, 3D type is a great canvas to use my advanced surfacing skills to sculpt the titles, a natural fit.

Cebas: Thom, do you use finalRender/finalToon in your animation work as well? How does these two plugins best serve in enhancing a 3D project? You have a whole archive of amazing 3D art concepts as well as models - can you select several that has benefited from cebas visual technology show and tell?

Thom: I use finalRender/finalToon exclusively, and I have well over 6000 images online, and FR was needed on every project (check it out @ It really was in need for the Stereoscopic 3D Titles I did for Monsters 'vs' Aliens back in 09' as well as all the virtual automotive rendering from Herbie to the Current 1947 Sterling-J 'Virtual Model" that is being translated to a working buck concepts for a full hand build of a lost transportation icon.

Cebas: What do you find… usually are the most difficult aspects of 3d/ fx design work - is it technology or artistic creativity? - is there an available vfx software that resolves all your technology-to-art needs? What is missing?

Thom: Most difficult, is that there is still no standardization for an industry that is two decades old. I use Adobe PhotoShop as an example, in that the smallest to the largest agencies all use standardized programs for print, so they can pass back and fourth the files around the country and the world. But in the 3D Design/Animation world, every job posted now, is sub-divided out to OS, 3D software, and Renderer. This makes it so that a 3D logo gig is not about the best 3D logo designer, but the best C4D user, or best Mac user, or best Vray user. This divides up the talent pool based not on talent, but on what 'brush' you paint with, so to speak.

Cebas: Have you tried out GPU rendering and what do u think about it?

Thom: I have seen this, but have not been in a position to migrate over yet.

Cebas: Thom, do you give tutorials on 3D art? If yes, how do readers find you?

Thom: I do, but they have all been private at my home/studio. Only requirement I had was that they must own the software, no pirated versions. Folks who own, and have invested definitely make the best students. Once I am in a position to teach more I plan to add online teaching to my workload.

Cebas: In your view, what is your wish for cebas software to achieve that is not currently doing for you?

Thom: It does what I need perfectly, hence the continued use since version Zero. I love the software. The licensing is a bit difficult, but when so many pirate this great product, Cebas must secure their investment, so it is a natural hurdle that must be there to ensure a great product with a future that is sustainable as a product for many years to come.

Cebas: What projects can we expect from you in the future (if you're able to tell us).

Thom: I continue with my Theatrical Advertising work[ Movie Posters and Trailer Titles] for all major studios, so as the titles finish I can reference them online. I have well over 30,000 images, but I only can post about 20%, so there will always be so much work I can never show, as the studios have locked down the concept work phase in recent days even years after release

Look for Thom at 

Movie credentials at