Interview with Henk Venter

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Henk Venter is the author of Unreal Engine 5 Character Creation, Animation, and Cinematics, we got the chance to sit down with him and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.

Q: What is/are your specialist tech area(s)?

Henk: I am a Character Artist in the field of 3D Graphics.

Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?

Henk: Packt approached me to co-author a book that would coincide with the release of Unreal Engine 5.
Me and my co-author, Wilhelm Ogterop, realized that there were no books available that covered the entire 3D Movie production pipeline in UE5.
We wanted to write a book that would only use free Open-Source software, starting with 3D Asset creation in Blender and Quixel Mixer and finished with the final Animation and rendering of your movie in UE5. I was inspired to write the kind of book that I wish I had when I started off in the field of 3D Graphics.

Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?

Henk: I studied UE5, Blender and Quixel Mixer thoroughly before starting on my Chapters. Fortunately, I’ve been using UE4 in a professional capacity for many years before learning UE5, which helped a lot. Also, my work experience at AAA game studios really helped to define the overall production pipeline which we are teaching in this book.

Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?

Henk: As an Artist, I am more visually focused. So writing this book presented its own challenges.

Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?

Henk: Unreal Engine 5 is a real game-changer for the entire 3D Graphics industry and especially for the field of 3D Movie/TV show production. The biggest benefit of using UE5 in the 3D Movie production pipeline is that UE5 can render all a the 3D Movie’s frames in near real-time. This is a massive time saver compared to traditional 3D Movie’s production pipeline where all the 3D Movie’s frames has to be rendered using slow offline rendering methods.

Q. Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?

Henk: Two reasons:
(1) Our book covers the entire production pipeline which other books about Unreal Engine do not cover. (We teach you how to Model, Texture, create a photo-realistic Humans, Rig and Animate)
(2) Our book is the most up to date book about UE5, covering all the hot new features such as MetaHuman, Lumen, Nanite, Quixel Megascans and UE5’s Control Rig.

Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?

Henk: After completing the easy to follow lessons in this book the reader will be confident with their newfound knowledge of creating 3D Assets from scratch by using Blender and Quixel Mixer and then using those Assets in a 3D Movie using UE5.

Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?

Henk: Practice what you learn in the practical tutorials in this Book. This book serves as a springboard to launch your 3D Graphic career, but remember that the learning journey never stops.

Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?

Henk: Yes, please have a look at: https://pixelpirate3d.blogspot.com

Q. Can you share any blogs, websites, and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?

Henk: https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/feed

Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?

Henk: I am quite happy to have collaborated with such a good Publisher as Packt. They have a team of editors who will help you with your writing journey.

Q. How did you organize, plan, and prioritize your work and write the book?

Henk: I am quite an organized person. For me it was a matter of finding spare time to write while I was busy with my regular job.

Q. What is the one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?

Henk: Read your own chapters and put yourself in the shoes of your audience. Write your topic from the point of view of your target audience. In my case I was writing this book for complete beginners to 3D Graphics.

You can find Henk’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here

Unreal Engine 5 Character Creation, Animation, and Cinematics – Available on Amazon.com