Spotlight – Matthias Winkler

by Graham Edwards

To create cinematic illusions, you need conjurors. In this series of spotlight interviews, we ask movie magicians what makes them tick.

Matthias WinklerA CG supervisor at RISE, Matthias Winkler picks out his career highlights as Black Panther, Captain America: Civil War and Babylon Berlin.

CINEFEX: How did you get started in the business, Matthias?

MATTHIAS WINKLER: I was working for a small advertising agency and picked up a trial version of Maya after seeing Finding Nemo. I wanted to know how they were able to create those characters and environments. That was my first experience getting into 3D and from then on it was just further expanding into this field.

CINEFEX: What aspect of your job makes you grin from ear to ear?

MATTHIAS WINKLER: Seeing your renderings being massaged into the plate by talented compositors.

CINEFEX: And what makes you sob uncontrollably?

MATTHIAS WINKLER: Checking renders in the morning, and having incomplete renders in sequences where you really needed them.

CINEFEX: What’s the most challenging task you’ve ever faced?

MATTHIAS WINKLER: The project I’m currently working on, due to the increased amount of different departments we had coming together, and exchanging work frequently to make the effects work on a certain character come together in a short amount of time. Thanks to our great pipeline TDs and our visual effects supervisor, it worked out just fine, and the camera got really close to some of our digital assets and effects. Really, really close!

RISE created hologram visual effects for the car chase in "Black Panther."

RISE created hologram visual effects for the car chase in “Black Panther.”

CINEFEX: What changes have you observed in your field over the years?

MATTHIAS WINKLER: I find myself thinking of the time when I was starting off as a modeler and had first got my hands on the newly available lidar scanners. That was a real game-changer.

CINEFEX: And what changes would you like to see?

MATTHIAS WINKLER: I would like to have better processing speed capabilities. Say about 777 times better than they are currently.

CINEFEX: If you were to host a mini-festival of your three favorite effects movies, what would you put on the bill, and why?

MATTHIAS WINKLER: Finding Nemo, Edge of Tomorrow and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. For a particular sequence, the beach battle in Edge of Tomorrow really blew my mind. I liked the whole cinematography and the production design, especially the rig and the animation of the Mimics – really impressive.

CINEFEX: What’s your favorite movie theater snack?

MATTHIAS WINKLER: Beer and bubblegum.

CINEFEX: Matthias, thanks for your time!