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Kindly provided by Toby Thain at Telegraphics

David Argemi interview

by Robert Jan Kila

Since a few years one of the most forthcoming plugin/ tools developer is indispensable Konkeptoine. I remember back then when i read the company name I was a little hesitant, as the name did not say anything about what they were going to do. But over the last five years they developed over 20 plug ins and shaders, a dozen of free shaders and lots of sample projects.
So what is going on in Barcelona? Who are konkeptoine? And moreover what is FiberForge, there latest plug in for EAIS.

-Three fiber creation mode:Normal Grow, Guide Lines and Hybrid
-Control over different aspects, as Height, Height error, Density, Divisions,           Radius, Radius error, Tapering, Section, Color controls.
-Placement per Polygon basis or Square Area basis.
-Motion features: Translational Force, Rotational Force and Centrifugal Force
-Weight maps control for Height, Placement,Radius, Gravities.
-Random Inclination parameters.
-Gravity and Force Fields (Attractors and Repulsors) features
-Guide Lines features including radius of effect, resolution reduction, interpolation control.
-Animated parameters
-Save and Load settings for your fiber-database.
-Different preview controls.
-UV mapping

Plus the two plugins that are quite nice as helpers, specially GuidePath.

Robert: Something about the company: who are Konkeptoine?

David: Delicate question. :-) I like to think that Konkeptoine, besides the guys here in the office is a group of people, a group of enthusiast, a small community formed by all our friends, collaborators and customers other than just a company owned by two guys and with a staff. I started this company alone as a "side bussines" and for myself and now is eating lots of my time..lots. As time passed many of the first customers turned to be the best collaborators and beta-testers. Nowadays I like to think that the KTeam is formed by many many people scattered around the globe that is always supporting, helping, giving ideas, no matter what they do. Some come and go then return and go again depending on their own aggendas, some are there from the early beginning and always find a time for us. It would be long to name them all,  Igor Yatsenko and Igor Ivaniuk in Ukraine, Paul Sherstobitoff in Canada, Albert Kiefer in the Netherlands, David Della Rocca in France, Takashi Inoue in Japan, Douglas Parker in Sweden, Clark Dunbar or Scott Tucker in the U.S...well I could write many many names. So you see.. "who is?"  is a delicate question :-)

Robert: What will the future bring to this plug?

David: I hope that the best! Now is the time for a breath, and the time to let things calm inside here, a time to listen to the FiberForge users and write down all their ideas and requirements. We already have some things in the works for version 2, but we will not start working on it immediatly. We need to listen to our customers and when the moment arrives, we will start that "collaborator" engines I was referring in the previous question and work on version 2.
Robert: How did you got the idea for the developement?

David: Well, that is obvious! The EI community claimed for something to do hair. Santi Gali, one of the guys of the KTeam started a plug to do a job in August 2003. That plug just did small things, but it was enough for completing the task to do. We never used it again, it was just born for one task. After that, Santi left the team for some months to take care of other issues, and before this summer 2004  I re-opened the code and start adapting it for a commercial version. When Santi returned he and me starting to work on it towards an alpha version. The rest is just work-work-work on it to bring the plug to the EIAS community.

Robert: Which features are included in the plug?

David: Not all that we wanted to include, and not all the features the users would like to have. When developing this kind of plugs that can have endless goodies and features one must stop one day (We took this good advice from two good friends ;-) ) and release it to the users. Then is the time for the users to "help" us explaining us what direction to take with it. For the first version of FiberForge we wanted to offer the possibility of a basic hair/fibers with some extra goodies for animators. So, as a kind of resume:

Robert: What it can do?

David: That is up to the user. We always try to make our products as open as possible. FiberForge speciallises in the area of hair, grass, fibers or this kind of modeling where lots of special objects are involved, similar to a particle system.

What it is not present in this version 1.0 are real dynamics and hair to object or hair to hair  collisions. To make that real we need more time.

Robert: Tell me some annecdotes about the plugin :-).

David: Hmmmm..not much things here, may be a couple. We used a early version of the plug to render a grass garden for a viz work. FiberForge appeared just in one shot, all the other shots were pure architectural. But... the customer was so happy with the grass look that he gave us a new viz work to do...a Golf Field!  The other was the internal codename of FiberForge, a spanish "dirty" word (Hey, we do not use to give dirty words to our codenames..but this one just came..you know). Every time we were out of the office discussing about the plug taking a drink or a coffee...well..surrounding people sitting on tables used to look at us listening all the time a word I will not type now :-)

Robert:What went wrong with the developement?

David: Some things went wrong. Some of them were solved, some others not. I will not give much details about this..it could be really boring. Trust me :-)

Not many of the EIAS users know that David Argemi is an illustrator in origine. And as what seems a little project ended with plug code writing.

Robert: How you began the illustration work?

David:I always did illustrations and drawings on my own since I was a child, so I studied in the University of Fine Arts here in Barcelona. During the study years I worked in several places doing different art related things, and one thing brought me another thing until I started working as a freelance for a design studio that specialises in bookcovers. I still work with them.

Robert: What kind of assignmenst you have/ kind of works (buildings, environments, industrial products )

David: I use to work on two main areas. One is mainly bookcover illustration and some design for advertising. The other one is visualization, and in the viz branch I do architectural and engineering works.

Robert: Why combining it with writing plugs?

David: There is not a exact reason. All started when I directed the final project of my wife's career. We programmed a small particle plugin for EIAS, back in 2.9 days. Then we did the Pits freebie shader and I learned some basic coding. After that I coded by myself the DirtLayer shader, and I was around 6 months learning and doing shaders just for fun. The idea of writting my own software was appealing and really usefull for my illustration work, so I thought that if that tools were good for me they could be also usefull for others and I built Konkeptoine as a side bussiness..Heh, now it eats lots of my time.

Robert: Who work with you as illustrator?

David: I work usually alone, or teamed up with who hires me. For the viz assignements I work with the team here at the office.

Robert: How you combine with writing plugs?

David: I do the best I can :-) . The software part of my bussiness is a global worldwide bussiness with lots of things to attend, while the illustration part is usually local with the usual steeped schedules..That two "modules" are quite hard to drive both at a the same time, mainly for the time zones. In my opinion a important thing is the service one gives to the customer so I try to focus all my efforts on that. On the other hand, the good thing about this is that when we do not have any illustration or viz assignement we can work on the programs part without hurry (say, coding, or preparing documents for a product made by a collaborator, etc )

Robert: Any wierd story you can come up with?

David: I have a funny one: Just a few weeks ago I visited a potential customer at his publishing office. I had a meeting arranged with the art director. I was explaining him what I do and the usual talk. Before I could show him our portfolio he pulled some books, placed them over the table and asked me "Can you do this kind of illustration?". I looked at the bookcovers..and two of them were made by me. So I said "Yep, I did this one and this other one". He looked the bussines card again, and we both had a good laugh.
Webite of David Argemi "The Illustrator": www.david.argemi.name
Website of David Argemi "EIAS plug code warrior": www.konkeptoine.com