Thursday, November 17, 2016

Aardman Nathan Love brings new life to Crayola

Looks like Aardman Nathan Love has been busy creating new personalities for Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green. 

 Looking forward to more videos of these guys.. as long as they make it past the auditions... 

( and it seems like just last month they were kicking it with Kool Keith and MF Doom )    Kool Keith X MF DOOM - "SuperHero"

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Leica & Autodesk BLK 360 "reality capture" device

  • Leica BLK 360 : 
  • 360,,0000  points per second
  • 60 meter range
  • millimeter precision
  • 360 pano device
  • 15 .1 mega
  • full HDR
  • paralax free 150 MPX final image
  • plus a thermal camera 
  • 2.2 pounds
  •  indoors/ outdoors
  • wireless     ( to an ipad ? ) 
  • one button  ( what did apple design this? ) 

available "spring 2017" 

suggested price :  ( with 1 year subscription of recap pro )  $15,999

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Mental Ray now "faster , Easier, and Free"

Ok so don't get too excited just yet.. Mental Ray will be free for single, in Maya rendering, similar to Arnold, but you will have to still pay for  a "production render license" to batch.  However,, that license cost $65/machine/year.   So not too shabby. 

Floating licenses are $295 or $995 for a 5-pack, while systems containing a professional NVIDIA GPU qualify for special pricing of $95 or $325 for a 5-pack. Customers who purchased mental ray standalone from Autodesk will have their subscriptions matched with NVIDIA licenses at no cost.

 Also, the mental ray production render will be free for  colleges and universities. 

According to the blog, this will all go into affect November 30th 

MRBLOG about Free MR  

Nvidia Mental ray 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Maya 2017 Bonus Tools

Steven Roselle releases a nice overview of all the bonus tool additions and updates for 2017

  For those you unfamiliar with Bonus tools, they are a lot of small production tools packaged up to a menu set for Maya. Sometimes these tools will find there way into the next version , but more often than not I treat them as "possibilities" and jumping off points for scripts that you could update and add yourself.   But they do include a lot of tools that make your life easier. 

 Bonus tools does have in installer so it will hijack some of  your personal setup, like hotkeys and some menus. So be sure to save a copy of your prefs before installing , just to make sure you don't over write some of your own custom setups. 
  For me, I generally install bonus tools to a fresh preferences, and then pick out the tools I want and copy them over to my Maya preferences.  ( case in point there are several hotkeys like ctrl + 2 that will activate the HUD for bonus tools Display ,, I've already got that mapped, and would like to keep my own settings) 

bonus tools available here:

of note:
  •  weight editor window ( windows only) 
  • rigging performance tracking
  • Display Control   ( hud display controls)
  • navigate graph marking menu 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

HIFI3D looking for character animators !

HiFi 3D is looking for freelance character animators for Oct 24-Nov 11th. Send reels/rates/availability to

 HiFi 3D is a Visual effects/Animation company located in Brooklyn, NY. We provide high-end production services, concept, vfx supervision, directing and everything inbetween. Our clients benefit from our obsessive eye for detail, our personal approach and the incredibly talented artists we have assembled.


2011 - 2012 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role, Boardwalk Empire

2011 Visual Effects Society Award for Outstanding Models in a Broadcast Program or Commercial, Boardwalk Empire

HiFi 3D uses 100% renewable electricity, with 35% wind-generated electricity and 65% small hydro power through ConEd Green Energy.  

Monday, October 17, 2016

Tuesday October 18th, Maya users group meeting, Featuring Lee Fraser and Lucien Harriot

            Hey Guys, put together a last minute meeting for the users group.. I'm super excited to see some of Mechanism Digital's latest VR projects , and Lee is in town to show some of the latest in Mash and Xgen in maya. 

Lee Fraser , Technical Specialist of Autodesk. Will be presenting a motion graphics in Maya and updates to Xgen for hair , fur, and foliage

Lucien Harriot  of Mechanism Digital will be talking about his latest VR projects using Maya.


Lucien Harriot
VFX supervisor & EP, Mechanism Digital. 
Lucien started in 1988 as an A/V technician designing and building computer animation studios around NYC and installing NY's first Pixar Image Computer. His animation hobby shifted into a business after purchasing his first SGI as and Mechanism Digital was born which now employs up to 25 artists and support staff. Over the past 20 years, Lucien and Mechanism have produced thousands of 3D animations and visual effects for films, TV, spots, and medical explainers.  The creative studio prides itself in taking the mystery out of the visual effects process, working closely with clients through the technical & creative phases, from storyboard to finishing.  A fast thinker and problem solver, Lucien is as comfortable leading production in the studio with a team of computer artists as he is supervising on the set of feature films. The studio continues to push the envelope with innovative media developing touch screen, augmented and virtual reality experiences.

  Please be sure to RSVP to :

New York Autodesk Office
Tuesday , October 18th  
6:30 PM - 9:00 pm
38W 21st Street, 9th Floor

sponsored by :

Friday, October 14, 2016

Roof Studio: High and Low

Brooklyn based  Roof Studio's directors cut of their music video "High and Low" for Australian electronic music duo Empire of the sun.

High and Low - Empire of the Sun - Director's Cut from Roof Studio on Vimeo.

VR interview with Mechanism Digital

        Mechanism Digital has been doing great work in the NYC are for quite some time, and now they are getting into the VR game.   Daryl Obert from Autodesk came down to do a quick chat with Mechanism's Executive Producer, Lucien Harriot  to learn more about the VR projects they are working on . 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

NYC Shotgun Group Meeting October 13th

Hey that's right,  a shotgun user group Meeting !

We have a great line up of industry experts joining us in a casual environment to talk about how they use Shotgun in their studios.

We hope to create a setting to share knowledge and experience.

Please feel free to share this invite with team members that might be interested.
I do ask that you register below if you can join us, as I will use this for catering purposes.
Food and drinks will be provided.

Date: Thursday October 13th
Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Location: Autodesk Office – 38 West 21st Street, 9th floor, New York 10010

and if you are interested in the trial version of RV you can find that here:

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

United Nations - project Everyone from Aardman Nathan Love

With VO from a man with a very specific set of skills , Aardman Nathan Love goes full zootopia in this United nations Project everyone spot

United Nations - Project Everyone "#WEHAVEAPLAN" from Aardman Nathan Love on Vimeo.

Some Free e-books from Animation Mentor !

Who doesn't want to learn to be a better animator !?   Especially when Animation Mentor is giving the good for free !..

 of course if you are interested I would definitely recommend checking out their curriculum and classes

Friday, September 9, 2016

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Steven Roselle does a quick look over the UV improvements in Maya 2017

Some pretty nice new tools for UV editing.. actually makes it look enjoyable

  • symmetrize UV Tool  ( easier way to make your UV layout symmetrical) 
  • UnFold3D layout options ( better packing and layout options) 
  • auto Seams  ( automatically generates uv seams)
  • pre rotations for uv packing
  • multi tile uv packing
  • multi object uv packing
  • shell vs object uv distortion display

be sure to subscribe to Steven's blog and youtube channel

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Masters of Animation & Visualization from UTSALA !

Imagine having a
"University of Technology Sydney Animal Logic Academy Master of Animation and Visualisation "  degree?

From what I can tell this is kinda like playing house, but for vfx, where you go to work 9-5 and treated like an employee to garner "studio experience" , guided by artists and professionals from Animation Studio Animal Logic..  best known for "Happy Feet", and "the lego movie" , and currently in production on the "Lego batman Movie".

 So often we hear that studio's are looking for artists with "experience", which makes it hard for people to get experience, without getting their first job..   UTSALA looks to be created to do just that.  Help Students get that ever so needed studio experience. Offering a 1 year course for $45,735 AUS( or $34,800 american)

 You won't be working on anything in production, but on projects within the school.   This isn't a "what's better than free employees?, one's that pay you to work for them!" situation.

I think this is actually a really great idea.. I'm not sure how it will pan out vs getting an internship or working for scale at a studio, vs working collaboratively in another art school like SVA.

A lot more info here at their site: ( but hurry, applications close in 64 hours...)

Monday, August 15, 2016

MASH - component selection sets

Chris from mainframe walks thru a pretty cool demo using MASH with component selection sets

MASH - Using Component Selection Sets from Mainframe (North) on Vimeo.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Quick Pipe 1.5 updates from Adnan Chaumette

Adnan Chaumette just released a couple of new videos for his Maya plug-in Quick Pipe, for creating complicated pipes along curves ....  a little bit more powerful than the normal Maya extrude.

available on gum road:

from gumroad:

Quick Pipe is a curve-edge based path creation tool for Maya.With it’s selection-based formula,Quick Pipe lets you create simple shapes like tubes,pipes,corrugated pipes and more complex meshes like tunnels,caves,floaters,floating bevels,welding and many more.

For studio licensing please contact me with this Email :

You can stay in the tool’s comfort zone and prototype with it as much as you want or go crazy and experiment with all it's advanced options to see the results happening in real-time.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Nixolas experiments with Golaem Character

Wow this is pretty cool,   Artist Nixolas shares not only his how-tos but also his golaem assets for creating crowds with the Golaem plug-in for maya

White Walker NX Golaem Character - Download from Nixolas on Vimeo.

Tutorial and assets here: 

Also check out his Pokemon go spawn simulation: 

He also has a pretty great tutorial on unrolling  a tube of toilet paper

Monday, August 8, 2016

2 minute Tank Tread rigging with Lee Fraser (*using Mash)

Lee just posted this nice quick tutorial on making tank treads with Mash,  It shows some of the power of Mash , especially for non motion graphics related rigging.

( and although the video is 2 minutes,, It looks like the setup is about 5 seconds) 

Friday, August 5, 2016

MtoA tutorials from Urs

Now that Arnold comes packaged inside Maya 2017, it's a good time to get some Arnold Lessons. Arvid Schneider | URS 3D has put up some in depth looks at MtoA ! 
 Be sure to subscribe to his youtube page!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Denoiser in V-ray 3.4 for Maya

Chaos group added a new post-process denoiser that you can run post or during your v-ray renders in V-Ray 3.4

go here for all the latest updates:

Maya 2017 "time editor"

Autodesk takes another stab at a non-linear animation editor.. which from what they say has borrowed heavily from Softimage. 

Here is Daryl Obert and Warren Trezevant of Autodesk at the Autodesk Vision Series giving a nice dog and pony show of the new Time Editor.
Maya’s Animation Evolution from Autodesk Media and Entertainment on Vimeo.

and here is Mathew Doyle giving a quick overview for the Maya LT blog. 

 Steven Roselle goes super in-depth on the the new time editor and using it from start to finish

Friday, July 29, 2016

Autodesk Rendering the Future: A Vision for Arnold

Marcos Fajardo, Founder of Solid Angle, reveals his vision for Arnold and talks about why he is excited about the future of rendering.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Siggraph 2017 : Physically Based Shading in Theory & Practice

Siggraph university recently published this youtube video  for an introduction to "Physically Based Shading in Theory and Practice" all about the physics and math for physical based shading models and renderers.

...and just hours ago they published the Live Talk from this years Siggraph . streamed live July 24th, 2016

Maya 2017 : "workarounds"

now that maya 2017 has been released to the gen pop, a few bugs and workarounds are popping up on the net..  I will try and keep on top of them and post them here:

  • Can't snap objects or pivots to Nurbs Cvs on Curves on Nurbs Objects
    This appears to be a VP2.0 issue.. if you change your render mode for your panel to "legacy" it should snap with no issues. 
   alternatively you can turn on Display - Nurbs - CVS to show nurbs curve and object cvs permenantly, and then snapping will work in VP2.0 

  • Centering pivot on Clusters results in non-centered pivot ( legacy issue)
  • snapping to cluster handles results in offset (VP2.0 issue) 
  When you try and center pivot on a cluster handle it moves the pivot to the wrong position.  I think it's got something to do with the little "C" shape . I just tried a quick solution which is to replace the "weighted node" with a locator in the same position, that has had it's transforms frozen. ( and it appears to work) 

  • Custom Hotkeys keep getting forgotten
Currently maybe you could use this workaround for the problem: Link a hotkey set to the workspace explicitly. Then the hotkey set will remain after Maya restarts or switching workspaces.
To link a hotkey set to a workspace, you can 
1) Open Windows->Workspaces menu
2) Click the option box of the workspace Maya is current in (little cube beside the workspace name).
3) Check on "Enable a Hotkey Set to this workspace"
4) Choose the hokey set you want to link
5) Apply and Close

  • slowness when Mash is loaded
unload Mash from your plug-ins if you are not using it, and you should notice a speed increase in Maya

  • Arnold Batch Rendering has watermark
Buy  a license of Arnold from solid angle

Menu - Render - Render Sequence - as set up in render settings.

  • changes to Maya Rendering FAQ

  • can't select curves in Graph editor
For some reason there is now a default hotkey of "m" to allow you to select curves in the graph editor.  So, you can either leave this on, and hold "m" to select curves, or under the "select" menu of the Graph Editor.. toggle the check box for "select curves" on 

  • UNDO QUE gets flushed (randomly) 
I've often heard people complain about this, and I know there are a few scripts and plug-ins out there, that flush and also sometimes shut the undo que off.   
but I just learned about a known issue/feature  that when you import/reference/load or reload or remove a reference Maya will flush the Undo Que.. This is mainly because those types of actions are I/O based and the undo can't normally handle the memory for full scene undo/redo ( or it would kill your memory) 
This includes "dragging" files into Maya, as that acts as an import I/O function
as well as using copy/paste from other open Maya sessions ( ctrl+c , ctrl +v) which also act like "import"  .   and I know a lot of people do that, but I highly recommend against it, as you lose all control for the import and can lead to all sorts of bad node clashing. 

Maya 2017 intro videos ....

Lynda and  Autodesk, have teamed up to bring you intro videos for maya 2017..

I'm sure they'll continue to update their channels,

here are some highlights:

Trevor Adams takes you thru some of the Maya 2017 updates

Monday, July 25, 2016

Arnold For Maya 2017

Basically a whole lot of bug fixes and Maya integration updates ! 

rather than repeat them, I'll just point you to the solid angle support page

In Maya 2017, Arnold rendering no longer requires a license when executed from Maya interface. This applies for Arnold RenderView, Maya Render View, Sequence Rendering, and Render To Texture. Only batch rendering require an Arnold license to be rendered without watermarks.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

MASH Cube Transformation Demo

Ian Waters from MAINFRAME ( developers or MASH) walks thru a pretty cool cube transition effect that was used in the new Motion Graphics Maya intro

in case you missed it , here is the new intro video from Ben Black of Mainframe

Autodesk Maya Intro from Mainframe (North) on Vimeo.

and here is the how to for the "NAB CUBE" transition effect using MASH for maya
MASH - NAB Cube from Mainframe (North) on Vimeo.

...and here is the Nab 2016 video of Ian and Chris  talking about the creation and history of MASH for Maya.

How Mainframe Uses Maya to Stay Ahead in Motion Graphics from Autodesk Media and Entertainment on Vimeo.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Artella Free Franklin Rig

Artella | Free Character from Artella on Vimeo.

Cooperative Animation site Artella just released their royalty free rig "Franklin" into the wild.. take a look and download at the link below!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

[job] character rigging TD @ someone's cousin

Job: Maya rigger 
Location : remote 
Dates:  July 18th / 22nd 
Duration : 4 - 6 weeks 

---- post info ----
Hey guys,

I'm looking for a Maya rigger that can work remotely. This Artist will have
to be flexible and willing to work out of the box. No Auto riggers. I have
a pre-existing asset and need the new rig to either be duplicated or one
similar made with like/similar controllers and face shapes and rig. The
ideal candidate will be fast and willing to support the new rig throughout
production...about 1-2 weeks rigging time and 3-4 weeks support after that.
This is also not a "night gig". The ideal Candidate can work or is
available around the business hours of North American Eastern and Central
time zones. West coast is not out of the question if the right candidate is
available. Start date is between the 18th and 22nd.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Madhaven J's animation tests

Its great to see some nice cartoony stretchy effects... 
I don't know this animator, but I like where he's headed

No Idea from Madhavan J on Vimeo.

Baseball-Throw from Madhavan J on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Animating with Aim Constraints...

Animator Richard Lico of  PolyArc has posted a bunch of cool animations and demo material including  a great tutorial with a lot of insight into how he works. A lot of nice animation tips and tricks in here...

Animating With Aim Constraints from Richard Lico on Vimeo.

Working in-place or translating for a run cycle? from Richard Lico on Vimeo.

Monk Recoil from Richard Lico on Vimeo.

Monk_Attack from Richard Lico on Vimeo.

Andre Silke's create3dCharacters 1 hour Free tutorial on Maya's graph editor

Super talented and experienced animator Andrew Silke has started a site for learning 3d character animation, called   He's already got a few tutorials on there, and he just put out an hour long.. yes HOUR LONG tutorial in about 13 + parts on youtube..

check it out,, and I'm sure if you like it, his other tutorials are worth the $10.00 / month site subscription. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The deck of Cards Mash setup with UDIM

There are a whole bunch of Mash tutorials on Mainframe's vimeo channel,
here Ian goes more in depth on the deck of cards UDIM  that Lee showed at the May 3rd user group

MASH - UDIMs from Mainframe (North) on Vimeo.

May 3rd 2016, 2016 Ext 2 Meetup re-cap

    Thanks to everyone for coming out and getting a little glimpse of what's new in Maya 2016 Ext 2. and I'm digging into whatever I can about 'if' this is 2017, or we should expect a 2017 release in the next quarter.,.. Realistically, there is so much in this release, it's like a full update.  I'm just happy that maybe the Maya release number will match the actual year I'm using it. 

      The render layer system alone is such a major overhaul. And with as much the Lee got thru, there are so many little improvements that I like that he didn't get a chance to go over.  

  Congratulations to Adam Momsen for winning the AMD / ATI W5100 graphics card.  You can look up the specs. but basically 4GB of GDDR5 memory, 768 Stream Processors, 128 Bit Memory interface.. (it's wicked fast and built for 3D)  Special thanks to Ben D'amprisi of M&E Business Development Manager at  AMD for supplying an awesome prize for the event.   ( He is local and available to help out if you are looking for a card, or cards for your studio!  contact him at ) 

4 people were able to sink the ping pong ball, but Adam pulled thru in our tie-breaker ( choosing the closest number)    Use it wisely Adam , and let us know how it works out.
Thanks to Renee Evans and Lee Fraser of Autodesk for hosting and sponsoring the event and the group. Without them none of this could happen.  ( by the way, the more we do. the more they can do for us.. so if you want to present. know of someone who wants to present, or  have suggestions of something you'd like to see, learn, whatever, let me know! ) 

Also thanks to Plural Sight for their sponsorship of the group, and giving out monthly passes to lucky winning members *(sorry, didn't catch all your names) 

(Keep an eye out, and I'll try and plan another event.. soon --- ish )

( Mash, motion graphics in maya) 
Mash Channel on Vimeo :

(new content browser, with icons, and animated gifs)

(new blendShape manager) 

(one click rigging.. ) 

and even though it was the third.. May the Fourth be with you.......