Tuesday, December 8, 2015

GINGERBREED : The Motion Picture .. on kickStarter !

     Many of you may already know Szymon Weglarski and Jonathan Dorfman from their commercial and television effects work from their co founded studio HIFI3D , but you may not be aware of their ongoing personal project "GingerBreed".    
    Started as part of their 2002 Pratt  thesis , Gingerbreed was a way to test their skills and learn visual effects.  Now 10 years later, after freelancing around NYC and creating their own emmy awarding winning studio they are ready to get back to what started it all..  A visual effects heavy sci fi spoofy film about gingerbread men who come alive and wreak havok on a small crew aboard a spaceship.

  What I like about this is that Jonathan and Szymon kept the project going on all these years. They improved the script, previsualizd the entire film in 3D, setup a small green screen set to film paid actors, and continue to finish shots for the movie in their "spare" time with their own money.    We all have those projects we started and never finished and always say we will go back to , but never do.  Szymon and Jonathan are doing it! 

 They just released the trailer and launched a kickstarter campaign and could use all the help they can get..  I want to see this film finished !  You should want to see this film get finished. 

  Follow the links to take look at their kickstarter campaign and get an exclusive look at the first trailer for "Gingerbreed:The Motion Picture".

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cm9khGRz81k




Friday, November 6, 2015

MAYA METING : Golaem Crowd team ! and Aardman Nathan Love: Thursday November 19th

Coming up, the next Maya Users Group meeting is looking pretty fun!  We will be hearing from the creators of Goleam Crowd  about it's latest improvements and uses in production.  Also Joe over at Aardman Nathan Love will be talking about their recent merger with Aardman and the making of their epic logo reveal.

Golaem Crowd is a Maya Plug-in focus on crowd creation and control, and has been used in a number of high profile spots. 

Golaem Crowd is  the winner of the plugin category for CGAwards 2015!


Joe Burrascano and his team are anxious to spread the word and talk about their recent connection with Aardman to become..  Aardman Nathan Love  !! 

I'm still not sure this is even their final form!  
  Joe will be talking about the merger , projects, and the making of their epic logo reveal.

so far,, this is all we really know...  

AARDMAN NATHAN LOVE is an innovative animation, design, and development studio located in NYC.

Driven by a passion to tell great stories and connect with audiences around the globe, Aardman Nathan Love develops memorable characters, imaginative worlds, and engaging narratives for television, film, interactive and more. Clients and collaborators include Kellogg’s, Kraft, McGraw-Hill Education, Merck, NBC-Universal, and Nickelodeon Studios. Founded in 2007 by Joe Burrascano, Nathan Love partnered with award-winning UK animation studio Aardman to become Aardman Nathan Love in September 2015.

 Refreshments are graciously provided by Scalar
  Please be sure to RSVP to :  nycmayausersgroup@gmail.com

Thursday, November 19th 
New York Autodesk Office
7:30 PM - 9:30 pm
38W 21st Street, 9th Floor

thanks to our sponsors !

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

3 Part modeling demo from Alex Cheparev : Star Wars StormTrooper Helmet

While not busy modeling away for vfx in movies or building giant lego structures, Alex some how finds time to make tutorials and demos.  

It may focus on the helmet, but really this is a great look into modeling from reference and blueprints.

Friday, September 18, 2015

CG-Garage interview with Wes Ball

This is a great listen to for any aspiring or professional film maker working in CG.

 For those of you that aren't familiar, Wes is the Director for "The Maze Runner" and the upcoming "The Scorch Trials"  and whatever the third movie will be in the trilogy. He also is responsible to a short a couple years ago called "RUIN" which he self created and funded and what led him to where is today.
   I remember seeing the short, and I've seen "The Maze Runner" but I have to admit I knew very little, if anything, about Wes.   After listening to the interview on CG garage I liked a lot of what he had to say and found his story pretty interesting.
  I have no personal connection with Wes , or with CG Garage , but I def recommend giving this a listen.


Also be sure to check out this behind the scenes look at the scorch trials from Mike  Seymore from fxguide on wired 


and here is his short  "RUIN" , which you can also watch in Stereo.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

September 16th Maya Users Group meeting

Maya 2016 Extension has just released, siggraph has just ended, and we haven't had a meeting in a while. Come on down to the autodesk offices for some QnA with Lee Fraser about the updates and get  a quick look into Episcura from Patrick McAvena !  Maybe I'll even give away some digital tutors memberships for the best questions asked..
  see you there !


Lee Fraser , Technical Specialist of Autodesk. Will be presenting a post siggraph recap and run down of some of the new stuff in Maya, and  take some QnA. 

Patrick McAvena will be showing off and explaining the motivations behind Episcura and what you can do with it.

high rez HDRI, reference, and textures images for artists.


 Refreshments are graciously provided by Great Eastern,
  Please be sure to RSVP to :  nycmayausersgroup@gmail.com

Wednesday, September 16th 
New York Autodesk Office
7:30 PM - 9:30 pm
38W 21st Street, 9th Floor

sponsored by :

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Modeling updates for Maya : The Future of Modeling

Weta artist and now autodesk engineer  Andrew Camenisch gives a great overview of whats coming and some of what's already in Maya's modeling tools.

The Future of Modeling by CGMeetup

Friday, August 7, 2015

EPISCURA : Royalty Free High Rez reference , texture & HDRI images

If you haven't checked it out yet, I highly recommend you spend some time exploring episcura for their hdri textrue and reference photo library,  Not only do the images look great and tileable but the layout and organization is phenomenal. They are continually adding new content and it looks like they even take requests via facebook and twitter! 
  Membership comes in three flavors from "Free" to "Pro"(1GB a week) " to "Premium"(2.5 GB a week) .
 Go check it out !

episcura.com was born out of necessity. Textures available at stock sites are not affordable. HDR images are very expensive. A few CG artists decided to rectify the situation and created this new resource.

Our new home for seamless textures also offers HDRI and snapshots. The snapshots can be used to pitch ideas to clients, as references for models, or whatever you like. The textures and images are royalty-free.

Speaking of free, you can download 15MB daily for free. Monthly subscriptions are available which give users more download bandwidth. The site just launched and future plans include a free page that doesn't count against your bandwidth, 16 bit plates and a contest with a cash prize.

New images are added weekly and the team is eager to get some feedback. Contact us through twitter or Facebook. Let us know what you'd like to see!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

EPIC Games coming to NYC !

You're invited to join Epic Games for a live Unreal Engine training tutorial hosted by the School of Visual Arts Computer Art, Computer Animation, and Visual Effects Department at the SVA Theatre.
In this tutorial you'll see exactly how to build a twin-stick shooter for mobile deployment - completely from scratch - using the UE4 Blueprint visual scripting systesm. Since Blueprints are easily leveraged by all game development disciplines, artists, designers, and programmers are all welcome.

Topics we'll cover include: project setup, controller setup, importing assets, building materials, creating character classes, creating AI, navigation, blending animation, spawning enemies, maintaining game state, and configuring in-game UI.

This tutorial assumes you have 3D game development experience, but have not yet gotten started with Unreal.
5:30PM  Doors open
6:00PM  Lecture begins
7:30PM  Break (refreshments will be served)
8:00PM  Lectue continues
10:00PM Lecture concludes
Directions to SVA's Theatre:

Make sure to RSVP as this will fill up fast !

eventbrite ticket Site:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Substance Painter Crash Course from Dylan Mellott

Substance Painter has really been gaining ground and Dylan does a great job showing you just about everything you want to know to get started!

Dylan's artStation page:   https://www.artstation.com/artist/dmellott11


Friday, June 19, 2015

Maya 2016 Modeling Improvements - from Steven Roselle

Steven Roselle goes over a lot of the Maya 2016 modeling improvements in detail.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sculpting Clothing Wrinkles in MAYA

I like these tutorial as it focuses on using the new sculpting tools in Maya 2016

Friday, May 29, 2015

Vray in vfx

V-Ray in VFX


WhenFriday, June 5  

Where: Tribeca Cinemas & The Varick Room, 54 Varick Street, New York, NY 10013 (at Laight Street, one block below Canal Street)

What: SoHo’s Tribeca Cinema has hosted premieres of some of the world’s biggest movies, making it an apt backdrop for our visual effects symposium. We’ll begin at 5:30pm, taking you through V-Ray for 3ds Max SP2 and V-Ray for Maya SP1, as well as Phoenix FD’s new features and our latest technology. We’ve also invited key customers along to tell you how they use our products in their workflows.

After the event you can rub shoulders and drink beer with experts from the industry.

 Register here : 

Monday, May 18, 2015

May 26th Meeting : Maya 2016 with Lee Fraser

As you all know Maya 2016 has been released, and I'm sure a lot of you have already begun exploring the new ui, sculpting, hyperShade and various modeling toolkit integrations.

Come spend an evening with our friendly neighborhood Autodesk Senior Solution Specialist Lee Fraser to discuss the latest updates and field some QnA.

Lee Fraser started working for Alias|Wavefront over 10 years ago as an Application Engineer supporting Maya customers. He now works as a Sr. Solution Specialist for Autodesk focusing on helping customers get the most out of Maya in a variety of pipelines. He shares an Oscar with several hundred fellow past and present Alias|Wavefront employees for Maya’s contribution to the film industry. He is a frequent speaker at User Groups and Trade Shows around the country such as Siggraph and GDC and often helps produce demo content for these events. He is a certified instructor and has trained many students as well as teachers from beginning to advanced levels in Maya. He has also conducted training for numerous magazine writers that evaluate Maya for review articles including CGW, 3dWorld, and Post. He has enjoyed working with a variety of clients including Turner Studios, Disney, ILM, ESC, Tippett, Fathom studios and Giant Killer Robots. Lee attended Florida State University where he attended classes focusing on Film, editing, and studio broadcast.

  Please be sure to RSVP to :  nycmayausersgroup@gmail.com

New York Autodesk Office
Tuesday May 26th
7:00 PM - 9:30 pm
38W 21st Street, 9th Floor

Friday, April 17, 2015

Maya 2016 Now Available

Maya 2016 went online yesterday..

download and 30 day trial available...

I'm not going to re-post all the videos and info, just the links
Overview and main site :

Comprehensive what's new :

Monday, April 13, 2015

Look Developement Enhancements for Maya 2016

Daryl Obert goes over some of the new Look Dev developements upcoming in Maya 2016

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

SIGGRAPH Industry SpotLight April 13th 2015

These are always great and fun to go to and see what all the studios in the area are up to.

April 13th from 7:00 to 9:00 at the F I T Haft auditorium

Featuring the following Studios !

For more info be sure to check out the Event Page and RSVP for the event.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March 25th maya users group meet up

Yes, we are back, and it's a new year, and time for a meeting. ( finally) 

 Sorry about the late notice, but I hope you guys still make it down to SVA Wednesday night, March 25th   to come visit with MPC and Zync. 

 Artists from MPC NY are going to show off some behind the scenes of their latest super bowl commercial "Fable" featuring the tortoise and a very hairy hare.   MPC's fur grooming and rendering tools are pretty amazing and they are willing to show some of how it all works and how they create such amazing work with it. 

ZYNC cloud rendering..  
Todd Prives from ZYNC is going to fill us all in on what is going on in the unlimited power of Cloud Based Rendering using the Google cloud platform..  Already used by countless studios on block buster films, the ZYNC render manager creates an effortless portal to pretty much the most powerful machines you can even dream of.  

Graciously hosted by SVA computer art !!

Meeting is planned on starting at 7:30 and run to about  10:30 

SVA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects
301C, 3rd Floor
133 West 21st Street
between 6th & 7th Ave.

see you there !!


Friday, February 13, 2015

CRASHING MAYA - tutorials tips and tricks from Alex Cheparev

 Local Artist and Modeler extraoridnair and teacher at SVA Alex Cheparev is giving back with  a series of tips tricks and tutorials on his YouTube Channel.

 Check out his page, and be sure to hit up on techniques you'd like to see him cover. 

I particularly like his method for fixing poles on spheres to make all quad models, but be sure to subscribe and collect all his videos, and the ones to come.

another example from his channel

( polygon wedge tool)

Friday, February 6, 2015

An Evening with Joe Letteri at the Museum of the Moving Image


Museum of the Moving Image
36-01 35 Avenue / Astoria, NY

Visual Effects Master: An Evening with Joe Letteri and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Wednesday, February 11, 7:00 p.m.

Followed by a screening of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in 3-D

Presented in partnership with the Visual Effects Society, New York

Five-time Academy Award winner Joe Letteri will give an exclusive behind-the-scenes presentation of his work on the Oscar-nominated Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Letteri is one of the world’s leading visual effects artists. The emotional richness and complexity of the apes in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is just the latest achievement, along with his stunning work on The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, in a truly remarkable career that earned him his Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects on Avatar, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and King Kong. He also received a special Technical Achievement Award from the Academy for the subsurface scattering technique that brought Gollum to life. In this very special program, Letteri will present work on Dawn and other films, including content created exclusively for this event that will provide an inside look at the work of Weta Digital, the New Zealand company that was founded by Peter Jackson and is widely considered to be the premier visual effects studio.

This one-hour presentation will be followed by a screening of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in 3-D

 (Dir. Matt Reeves. 2014, 130 mins. Dolby Digital 3-D. With Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis.)

Tickets: $20
NYC Maya User Group members receive 20% off tickets with the code VFX

purchase tickets and make reservations at the Museum Of Moving Image website: