Monday, 18 December 2017

Speedflow Bevel and Solidify for non destructive workflow

Just watching the latest video about Speedflow, which will be my Christmas present to myself.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

LightWave 2018 release for January 1st.

LightWave 2018 has a release date finally. It's basically the version they've revealed in the official blog posts for quite some time now. As I knew for a long time now, this version had been ready for release for ages, the reason why it has been announced now and not before, we'll never know. The man who headed LW's development has stepped down and he's not going to gain by saying why, and in any case it doesn't matter now.

I've largely left LightWave behind, I'll probably download a trial and test it, but I'm not seeing anything in the samples they are showing that really impress me, I have no idea why they never offered me a beta version, I have renders I did with their older versions that look better than the images they are currently showing to promote this version, and I'm not the only one who has done good looking stuff with the old Lightwave. It's ridiculous that Chris Jones never got his hands on a copy of the beta for example.

Anyway it's about to be released, exactly as advertised, it will be a good version, users will enjoy it.

I'll leave you with the only sample image that I consider worthy of putting up to promote the product. This tiger image that's been around for a while now.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Speedflow for Blender

After using Cedric's other Blender Add-on Speed Sculpt, the next add-on I'm probably going to get for Blender will be his awesome workflow booster Speedflow.

I've been engaged in another non-CG project for a few weeks, so I haven't had much time to devote to Blender, but I will set aside a week or two to get back into it, perhaps using Speedflow.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Friday, 3 November 2017


As you might notice with the UV map, I'm not doing any proper mesh modeling, just a simple unwrapped ball. It's all I need at this stage, but at some stage I need to explore re-topo of these sculpts and baking normal  maps, displacement etc.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Purchased SpeedSculpt for Blender, My thoughts.

SpeedSculpt is an addon for Blender that is a collection of utilities and tools packed into a menu that sits in the side tool bar. I imagine the things it does are things you could always do in Blender, but the addon short-cuts all the complicated processes and makes them less of a workflow killer. One of the things that attracted me to it was a feature that allows you to merge shapes together and convert them into dense meshes that can then be sculpted.

This feature allowed me to sculpt over the merged mesh to give this model a claymation look.

Below is the model as it stands at the moment. I'm getting a hand crafted look, at least it's what I'm aiming for.

I recommend watching the YouTube videos about Speed Sculpt to decide if you need this addon, it's a very low priced addition to Blender, I've barely used any of it's options so far yet it's already opened up possibilities for me in Blender.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

4th Blender sculpt

I tried hard to make a cartoon version of the last head and it seems to have turned out all realistic and noble again. I'll push on with it, I guess it's another stylized head like so many others out there.

The finished version.

HDRI's from HDRI Haven are now all entirely free

Greg Zaal, who runs HDRI Haven from Blender community has gone rogue and decide to release all his HDRI content for free from now on, you might consider supporting him on patreon but it's not required, no sign in or acknowledgments required. They're some of the best quality out there in various resolutions 1k to 16 K unclipped.

I've downloaded everything off his site and put some of them to the test below.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Blender sculpt exercise number 3

Primarily doing this guy for the muttonchops, at this stage a little too realistic, probably because of the photographic reference.

Painted. More realistic in proportions than I intended but I'll go with it for now, the body will be done as a separate piece.

Here's the final. Yes those eyes look flat, but maybe I like it like that.

I'm trying a free add-on called Light Studio, which is similar to HDR Light Studio, this allows me to light interactively in a rendered view so I can experiment and see results live. Below is a more somber take.

I put in some round eyes and rendered with a HDRI, no post production on this one.

Blender Sculpting exercise number 2

Another go at a sculpt, I drew a rough concept to give me direction.

Up-dated, initial texture paint.

And this might be the finished version for now.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Mr Fat

This is probably as far as I want to go with this.

I learned quite a bit doing this, the paint tools are just adequate, but I could've taken them into Photoshop and gone to town, probably the work process would be to use Blender's texture paint to lay down a base and then edit that image further in something else.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Sculpting and painting in Blender.

I'm going to explore Blender's sculpting tools for quick 3D illustration, so this is the first thing I ever did with that, a simple ball and not many brush strokes, it should've been a throw-away doodle, but I liked this fat faced man so I saved it and decided to try out the painting in Blender as well.

I own ZBrush, but I never use it and I know Blender's sculpting tool can't compare, but for the sort of cartoon stuff I have in mind I find Blender an easier study and fun to use. Obviously I'm still learning and haven't got a handle on it all yet, however it's very interesting learning this program with it's many dimensions to explore.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Hitchin' a Ride by Vanity Fair, re-animated and remixed by me.

Some close up photography in Blender.

Been messing around in Blender, learning all the particulars of the Cycles render engine, lighting and so on. So I chose small subjects, inspired by images I found online, even so I've been able to utilize a mesh fusion style add-on Bevel after Boolean, micro poly displacement, sub surface scattering and the physics engine.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Blender 2.79 New Features.

Check the source video on YouTube for links mentioned in the video.

Blender 2.79 is official.

At last, we have the PBR shader, the denoiser and Filmic Color, among other things in an official "stable" release. Go download it now. This is the last release before 2.8.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Made the Switch to Blender.

I had to re-topologized  a scan of an office chair, something I'd never done, and looked online to find a how to. Blender came up as an option and I went ahead, after a day of doing re-topo in Blender I was starting to appreciate it's modeling tools, then decided to also do a render in Blender using Cycles. Up until then I hadn't really looked into Cycles. The above images were the result of setting up materials and lighting for Cycles. I instantly recognized the quality, the detail and believably of the surfaces wasn't something I was used to seeing without a lot of fiddling about (I use Lightwave normally), yet in Blender I barely did a thing, it felt like cheating.

At that point I made the decision to finish that particular job in Blender and all went well, it didn't take more than a day to get my head around working in the new system and the renders came out way better than I'd anticipated.

I realized that I would probably be using Blender more.

I took a car model I'd made with Lightwave and imported it into Blender to start the process of converting it into a Blender file, going through the different surfaces and very quickly making them Cycles friendly, most using what's called the Principled BSDF shader, an all in one shading node. Here are those render tests.

I just wanted to see how Cycles would render something I was familiar doing in Lightwave. Most of the time my head was shaking in disbelief at how much better everything looked, the clarity and smoothness for instance, plus the speed seemed comparable to what I would expect in Lightwave. I think I'm at a point where I will consider Blender first before automatically going to Lightwave. I await with interest to see the next version of Lightwave, with it's re-built renderer, but for now I will choose Cycles for anything that needs to look real, and learning Blender has made 3D interesting again for me.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Ouroboros 2 is out.

The updated, stripped down and re-written from the ground up version of this wonderful pay what you want script is now available.

From the the same guy who bought you Ray Dynamic Color and Ray Dynamic Texture. Find it here.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Latest project.

I recently suffered a major data loss with most of my animation work, projects and the like from the last few years suddenly vanished out of existence. That included the Feynman Physics piece I posted earlier so this storyboard image is the only surviving relic. I may be able to recover it and my drive is at the computer shop as I write
I contemplated giving up on digital art but it's too late I think. In the mean time I started a new thing in After Effects using a limited vector style. Here are a few sample frames.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

This is Color

An awesome period industrial movie educating us on all things color. I'd wager there be one or two things in this film you had never thought about.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Latest Project. Feynman Physics explainer.

I started a personal project that will use the voice of Richard Feynman talking on the subject of physics. I'm using a color scheme pulled from Color Lovers to set the tone (weird how I feel more confident using someone else's color scheme that one of my own). Here is the first page of boards, most of which has now been animated. Click the image for a larger view.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

2001, the cartoon.

From the weirdest channel on YouTube.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

The World of Amazing Animation.

Just some recent things that have caught my eye. Both these animators have produced work that is built on amazing designs, both in character and backgrounds.

DOUBLE KING from Felix Colgrave on Vimeo.

This Land Is Mine from Nina Paley on Vimeo.

It's purely coincidental that both films are based on the ageless theme of power and domination.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Utility Box-After Effects Script for Motion Graphics. Free.

Utility Box is a full featured script of  time saving functions that is currently going at the ridiculously low price of signing up to Voxyde's newsletter (I'm not sure you even need to do that).

Color Palettes and where to find them.

Actually, just two color swatch sites that I heard about recently. Both are free to join and you can design palettes, browse palettes and download them in different formats. First up is Coolors.

This has a nice interactive palette maker and the site layout is very swish. That's my contribution in the top left corner. The export options are these.

However I think I'm leaning towards Color Lovers, this site isn't as sexy but the feeling of interaction is strong as they feature a forum, a blog and groups, users can also up-vote swatches and make comments.

Another plus is if your swatch uses a new color that hasn't yet been used, you get naming rights. Pretty cute. I give the world Blue Salt and Young Peppermint.

Here are the export formats.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Vimeo's new page layout

I very much approve the new vimeo video page layout they just introduced. I've disliked the old page and just wanted to be able to see and find all my videos quick and easy, so now it has been economized and improved, even allowing for some bulk management, like mass delete of selected videos for example. Good one vimeo.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Another free preset from S.O.M.

School of motion provides another cool free stroke preset by Jake Bartlett.

Here's the link to the page for the download. You have to register.

Friday, 10 March 2017

2017. Should post something.

Here are some experiments with cubic illustration. I want to explore this style for a wee bit to see where it leads. It also gives me something to post for the year 2017.