Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Oates Studio.. Unity and alembic

I just stumbled across these videos of the making of digital humans for the series ADAM from Oates Studio. 

 The series was picked up and expanded by Neil Blomkamp and his team at Oates Studio. Oates has taken a large interest in real time  rendering and developing everything to work and play in Unity.  ( all three of the ADAM shorts have been completely rendered in unity) 

 As you will see, part of the interesting thing is that they are taking full moving captures of the humans facial movements at 30 to 40 fps. Rather than face dots and mocap to transfer to a jointed/blendshapped facial rig, and then importing that data as alembic straight into unity.   That combined with body mocap and some animation blending creates the final performances. 

     It looks like the alembic importer for unity has been around for a couple years. but with the help of Oates Studio it has gotten a major upgrade with they combined efforts to create the ADAM series. 

  It makes me wonder how large these data sets can be, and still run real time in unity, as well as if they are working on ways to use the alembic cache to drive alternate characters. Something that is normally handled by facial rig transfer from mocap data .. ( like how weta creates the faces for "Apes"

 This is a nice in depth article on the technological challenges solved by the ADAM team.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Comprehensive intro to Arnold 5 in Maya from Mograph Plus

I know nothing about mograph + but this looks like a pretty impressive comprehensive lesson pack for Arnold in Maya.. they are boasting over 8.5 hours of tutorials for $65

Monday, December 4, 2017

Brent Forrest's 2D fx for maya

Animator Brent Forrest has released 2 rigged/animated toon type effects for Maya. Love the hand animation, and the control that he gives you in the rig.

  It looks like he first hand animated the animation and then imported as either SVG or image planes and cut out the parts he wanted. The animation is handled thru object visibility, so there is group per frame that you can step thru. 

  What's nice is he then gives you quick access to color HSV and for the toon smack a radial control for what you want to have visible. 

Both are available on for $12 each.

I wouldn't be surprised if he puts out some of his other 2D fx as rigs for Maya in the near future.

FIRE! from Brent Forrest on Vimeo.

Smoke em if you got em from Brent Forrest on Vimeo.

Sargeant Splatter from Brent Forrest on Vimeo.

Splash Effects from Brent Forrest on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Imagine Design Create October 5th 2017

Imagine Design Create 2017 - New York
Please join us for this free event for creative professionals, motion graphics artists, 3d generalists, and visualization specialists.

We are excited to present a wide range of exciting technology and industry workflows involving the Autodesk Entertainment portfolio. Topics will include Visual Effects, Virtual Reality, Motion Graphics, Visualization and more. We’ll be showcasing many of the powerful new procedural workflows in Autodesk Maya® and 3ds Max® including MASH, Bifrost, XGen and the Max Creation Graph.

Additional topics will include collaborative production management with Shotgun, as well as efficient, high quality rendering with Arnold 5.

Don't miss out...we will be raffling off an Intuos Pro Paper edition, a Bamboo Slate, and a Radeon Pro WX 5100 graphics card at the end of the night. Plus, additional door prizes will be given to the first customers to arrive!  Food and beverages will be provided.  

be sure to register ! 


Thursday, August 31, 2017

MainFrame Bool

   Mainframe, the creators of "MASH" for maya have released a very clever front end for working with, and debugging, maya Booleans.  While Maya's booleans have come a long way and get better and better, there are still a few things that will trip you up, and Mainframes new plug-in Bool  strives to reduce the headaches. 

Available on the Mainframe website .  Bool costs £20  and is currently only available for Maya 2018. 

I particularly like the visual ui with drag and drop order operations, and quick access to display and operations per mesh. 

Also "bug" button, for finding and alerting issues with the boolean operations is quite handy. 

Bool from Mainframe (North) on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Comprehensive of UV improvements in Maya 2018

Maya modeling director, Trevor Andrews, does a comprehensive look into all of the UV updates in Maya 2018
 ( sorry, no Audio ) 

In case you missed it, here is the link for Trevor's overview of the modeling updates

Monday, August 28, 2017

Andrew Hodgson : concept vs production ready models

This is a great example of production ready vs concept models .

Move Weights Demo from Rigging Dojo

     Brad Clark from rigging dojo demos a little known tool from the Maya Paint Wts toolset  "Move Wts".. 
 Normally for something like this I lock the wts on every single bound joint ( with a quick toggle script) and then unlock the wts where I want the wt to go, and then paint to add. 
  FYI while in the paint wts tool, you can rt click in in the marking menu, lock / unlock the joint's weights. 

Rigging Dojo 101 #Rigtip Move Weights tool from Rigging Dojo on Vimeo.

also check out Brad's tips for displaying joints in Maya. 

 I use the same technique and wrote some quick macros for the shelf for toggling, and turning all to "visible" or "invisible"  , it's rare I use "box". 
( based on selection) 

global proc jointDrawStyle(int $style)
string $sel[] = `ls -type "joint" -sl`;
for ($jnt in $sel)
    setAttr ($jnt + ".drawStyle") $style;

//"default joint" 
jointDrawStyle 0; 
// "box"
jointDrawStyle 1; 
jointDrawStyle 2; 

Rigging Dojo face joint display #rigtip from Rigging Dojo on Vimeo.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Deep Dive into Maya 2018 Modeling improvements

Maya Modeling Director Trevor Andrews takes a deep dive into the new updates to Maya's modeling suite. 
( unfortunately there is no audio... ) 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Mash in 2018 BASH

    To celebrate the release of the MASH dynamics node in Maya 2018, the team at mainframe put together this nice demo short. 
 Directed by Chris Hardcastle the short served as way for the mainframe team to create using their own tools and help to define and develop a better user experience along the way. 
    Creating effects such as "hedgehog" , "bad piano" , and "Gherkin Elevator" the mainframe team demos a lot of the new functionalities of Mash Dynamics, 
 and put together a slew of tutorial videos about how each "effect" was created.

They've also made all the 2018 scene files available.

BASH from Mainframe (North) on Vimeo.

Be sure to check out the Bash Page with tutorials and links to file:

Director/Producer - Chris Hardcastle.
3D Artists - Ben Black, Jack Brown, Matt Oxley, Alex Dorman.
Developers - Ian Waters, Martin Vejdarski.

Bleeps and Beats - Matt Oxley

direct link for scene files:
direct link for Mash 2018 tutorial videos:

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Maya 2017 Update 4 now available !

Update 4 for Maya 2017 is now available !.
  Just go to your subscription page to download. 
and here is the release notes for the update:

so far it looks to be mostly bug fixes.. 

have fun


Thursday, April 13, 2017

ACM Industry Spotlight Monday April 17th 2017

from the site:

Our Fifteenth Annual Industry Spotlight will feature animation and post-production facilities from the NYC-metropolitan area. Our presenters will share a bit about their company, show some of their recent work, and discuss future projects. It's one of our most popular events each year - make sure you don't miss it!

Join us on Monday, April 17, 2017 at 7:00PM. The following companies are confirmed to be presenting as of March 25, 2017:

  • Aardman Nathan Love
  • Buck
  • Framestore
  • Mechanism Digital
  • Method Studios
  • The Mill
  • The Molecule
  • Mr X Gotham

How to Retopologize like a Boss

Character Artist Danny Mac shares some awesome retopologizing techniques in  his 2 part series:

Be sure to check out Danny's other videos on his youtube  , artStation , or instagram ,  also  Bonus Content on his GumRoad  or CubeBrush site 

How to Retopologize like a Boss:

part 2

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Maya 2017 : Tension Deformer

 The Tension Deformer attempts preserve volumr and smooth out your mesh  by evening the spacing of the edges of your deforming

Monday, April 10, 2017

using bakeToSkin

While still new and partially unfinished , the new bake deformer tool is still worth checking out and using, especially for those of you that hate painting weights. 

 While not in the menu's yet. you can envoke the tool using :


Steven Roselle takes you thru how to use it in this youtube video 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Phoenix 3.0 Flip Solver for Maya now available from Chaos Group

Wow this really looks impressive.. and dare I say easy to use? 


  • Flip Solver
  • Quick Presets
  • Fast Volume Rendering
  • New Fire & Smoke Solver
  • Force controls
    • dude, like goal from one object to another.. to another
  • Path Follow
    • constrain your fx along curves.
  • pricing
    • $830 for Workstation license ( 1 workstation )
    • $1600 for Workstation Plus  ( 1 workstation and 5 simulation licenses)
    • $210 for 1 Simulation license

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Comprehensive overViews of Modeling and UV improvements in 2017 Upate 3

Maya Modeling Product Designer Trevor Adam's put together some nice overviews of the new modeling tools and uv tools in Maya 2017 Update 3



  • new hotkeys
    • delete : delete UVs
    • 4 :  wire frame
    • 5: shaded
    • 6: texture
    • 7: UV distortion map
    • 8: Shell borders
    • 9: texture borders
    • shift X:  cut
    • shift S: sew
    • shift + ctrl + X : new shell 
    • ctrl U: unfold
    • ctrl L: layout

  • simplified toolbar
    • tool tips updated
      • tool tips have popup images and movies
    • certain tools have LMB and RMB funtionality
      • shaded LMB for shaded
      • shaded RMB for multi colored shells
    • shift click for options
    • menus reorganized again... for the better ! 
    • ability to quickly choose the viewable texture
      • scroll bar for texture dimming
      • disortion can be shown at same time as checker
        • many more checkerboard options
    • better organization of uv sets
      • uv map editor added to the UV toolkit
  • isolate select updated
    • wheres the hotkey ! 
  • custom shelf !!!!!!!!!
    • shift + ctrl to add to shelf ( just like regular maya) 
  • stepped move added to move tool
    • J to envoke
  • scale now as option to prevent negaive scaling ! 
  • uv marking menu updated for the better ! 
  • vtx, edge, face contextual marking menus !( updated) 
a lot of the upper bar tools have been improved and moved to the UV Toolkit
  • addition of the UV toolKit 
    • drag, tweak selection options added
      • use MMB to envoke tweak automatically
    • symmeterize button and controls
    • selection constraints options for ease of access
    • grow / shrink selection
    • select by type!
      • overlapping !
      • front facing / back facing
      • unmapped !
    • quick pivot controls
      • and quick nudge options  
    • texel density controls
  • customizable via MMB drag
  •  new option for create  based on Normals
  • A to B , and B to A stitch and move 
  • more options added to unFold
  • more options for alignment  / snap / layout

UV editing added to 3D view ! 

  • interactive cut and sew tools
    • drag to cut/sew
    • ctrl to sew
    • double Click to cut/sew full loops
    • shift + drag to progressively cut/sew
    • full symmetry support 
  • tool window contains list of all the hotkeys

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Imaginary Forces re-imagines the iconic HBO logo bumper

HBO 2017 Feature Presentation Open from Imaginary Forces on Vimeo.

thanks to Roger An for the IF credit list:

Imaginary Forces: Creative Director: Dan Gregoras, CG Lead: Chris Vincola, 3D Modelers: Roger An, Muzi Lee, Hannah Sung, Animator: Joerg Liebold, Lighters: Cody Chen, Ken Lee, Compositors: Tamir Sapir, Manu Gaulot, Ari Reisner.

I remember first seeing this , and all the behind the scenes..  so awesome.
 who remembers the fire hydrant ! 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Maya 2017 Update 3 - UV editor changes/improvements

You'll first notice the lack of the mult level icon bar from the top of the UV editor, and that the tools have all migrated into the new UV ToolKit. 
I think the best bet is going to be to take the tools you like,and put them on the new UV editor shelf .. unless you are a fan of the toolKit style of controls. 

I'm digging the new Color By Shell option to show the different shells, and while I still prefer to select my edges, and then cut UVs, having the cut UV tool work interactively in 3D space is a very nice addition.

Senior Techincal Specialist Steven Roselle takes us through some of the new UV tools and UV ToolKit in this video

full list of update 3 improvements

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Art of Compositing

This is most excellent look at compositing for VFX. 

VFX Games - The Art of Compositing from Roy Peker on Vimeo.

... but my friends always say, VFX looks..  fake.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Maya 2017 Bonus Tools

I haven't explored Bonus Tool for Maya 2017 just yet but Steven Roselle just put out some good videos for overview and how to work with the new Navigate Graph tools

Navigate Graph Overview

Friday, January 20, 2017

Maya for Motion Graphics & a whole lot more Webinar !

Maya for Motion Graphics and a Whole Lot More:
With powerful features and exciting new tools, Autodesk® Maya® 2017 software enables artists to work faster than ever before. Join us for a live webinar as Steven Roselle, Sr. Maya Technical Specialist at Autodesk, presents the latest developments in the Maya for Motion Graphics toolset. Featuring the flexible 3D type tool, improved Adobe Illustrator and After Effects support, the innovative MASH procedural animation toolset, and more.

Don't miss this webinar to find out how you can create stunning motion graphics and power your entire 3D production pipeline with Maya

Wednesday Jan25 11:00 am - 12:00 pm EST
Wednesday Jan25 2:00pm - 3:00 pm EST

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Aardman Nathan Love gets their 80's groove on !

Aardman Nathan Love gets their 80's groove on  in this 80's inspired Froot Loops commercial 

Froot Loops "Loopy Dance" from Aardman Nathan Love on Vimeo.

Producer & Director: Joe Burrascano
Executive Producer: Jon O’Hara
Head of Production: James Elio
Art & Design Director: Tim Probert
CG Director: Eric Cunha
Character Design: Jesse Aclin, Tim Probert, Cassey Kuo
Graphic Design: Yi Ju Tsai
Character Modeling: Michael DeFeo
Environment Modeling: Elizabeth Ku-Herrero, Pedro Conti, Sean Rubenstein
Texturing: Pedro Conti, Elizabeth Ku-Herrero, Jin Fang Jiang
Hair & Fur: Eric Cunha
Rigging: Lee Wolland, Sean Rubenstein
Choreography Consultant: Minty Atherton
Animation: Tom Shek, Doug Litos, Roman Kobryn
Lighting & Compositing: Eric Cunha, Jin Fang Jiang, Elizabeth Ku-Herrero