Sunday, 25 October 2009

Shit its been nearly 2 years!!!

Holy sheep shit...I had totally forgot about this blog and its been nearly 2 years (actually 1 year 8 months). So what's changed since last time I updated? I've seen the accidental success of the QuickStart series..that went mega very fast and has been watched in just about every country i the world in large numbers. It's seen me go back to programming and write 'MudWalker' and 'ReLight' for Mudbox 2010 (both are not used by some of the top companies in the games and visual fx field), I've put out a still writing Mudbox for creative artists.... and have been all over the damn world giving Masterclasses.

It all started with the Masterclass I did for Autodesk for Siggraph, that was done over 3 days at very short notice (it was supposed to be done a month later with plenty of notice) and was such a success along with the others that were recorded that it has been translated into 9 languages and still gets massive hits. Since then I've been to Holland at the End user event (Where I did a 'requiem' for speed sculpting by creating from nothing to final render a creature head in my opinion you cannot get faster than that and maintain quality...period!), I've gave lectures and Masterclasses at the Vienna Science Academy on Mudbox and digital sculpting in general, taught the lecturers at a Rotterdam university so they can teach others Mudbox...and in a few days am off to do a masterclass at the Animago film and animation festival in Berlin.

Yes I still get shit from Muppets who think that by simply telling people what I've done that for some reasons I'm only 'promoting myself'....well get real dudes, if you want to work in this business you HAVE to tell people what you have achieved or you'll starve. I've offended some Zbrush users simply by changing apps..offended some Mudbox users simply by being me and putting a lot of stuff out for free.... Now I'm at the stage where I really do not give a crap. I do what i do and that's that.... I couldn't care less if someone has a problem.

I had an enforced break from 3d due to my main machine blowing up at exactly the wrong when I had no money at all to get another one. So I've been doing some intensive sculpting to get back to where I was model quality wise. I'd like to think I'm there now. Hopefully it won't take as long to update this blog again lol.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Mudbox 2009 QuickStart Series: Mud2Max 32 displacement

Part of the Mudbox QuickStart free training series by Wyane Robson for Autodesk. NOw on iTunes!

Saturday, 10 May 2008

lots of models

I finaly made a start tonight on what will be a long running work in progress. Of the character SPAWN from the comics of the same name..more specifically 'hell spawn' and is partly based on some photos my mate glen passed to me of a sculpture he has in his spawn collection.

Its very early days and only about an hour or so into it and there's a lot missing at the moment. Added to which the texture is only a stand-in for the moment and isn't final at all. I'll nibble away at this one as I get the urge to between other WIPs that I have running.

This model named 'The leech' is now done and took about 2-3 hours fro top to bottom mainly as a painting xcersise for red textures. (Red based textures are rather special in that you can't simply desaturate the color to make your highlight color or the sculpt goes pink.)

I did want to go back and tweak the teeth texture and shader but alas I managed to max out 3d I can't change anything now. The scene is simply too heavy for this machine. The skin shader is a simple blinn with a normal, specual and color map anda rather complex trad lighting setup. Its all rendered out using mental ray using a linear color space workflow. Inspired by doom 3 and doctor who BTW.

I've done a shed load more Such as this one (The Bug) but I wont bore y0u any futher with the last few days models. Suffice it to say its been a productive week for personal sculpts which I've not had a chance to do recently with a lot of work for clients in.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Female nude

I think people assum that bcause I mostly sculpt various scary monstrs etc, that thats all I either want , or can do. So I figured it was time to sculpt somthing else out of the blue for a change.

This is intended eventually to be the major part of a very controlversial scene I have in mind. It carries a strange message and isn't one some people may agre with. So as such to cut down the tim I'll have to put up with an emmense ammount of shit, I'm keeping it under my hat for now.

Suffic to say it will both enrange people and also hopefully make them stop and think about some inportant stuff in life. At least thats the idea.

Right now the hair is a stand in and she's not yet posed. The body is based on someone although I'm banned on pain of death from saying who. (So you'll just have to guess!)

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Leaving the past behind

Sometimes in life you have to make decisions that either are uncomfortable to make or simply are things you feel you must do. A week or two ago I made one such decision, and that was to resign from Kurv studios. As some of you know, I’ve recorded 4 DVD’s with them so it came as a little bit of a shock to them that I wanted to leave. My reasons were simple, I’d been handed an offer from another company that while covering other things also covered DVD’s and I would have to be certifiable to turn it down.

It wasn’t easy to let Kurv and Wes know that I was heading in a direction that they could not follow, as I do like Wes as a person. But...I’m also a businessman and sometimes in business you have to make sure that your heart does not rule your head. So later in the year expect to see a new series of DVD’s and much more that are very special in a number of ways.

Now as it happens I’m the 1st ‘3d DVD guy’ to change companies. It never been done before and as a rule people stay with one company for life. So I have no idea what either the 3d public’s reaction will be or anything’s totally uncharted ground. But either way it’s sure to be exciting.

I’ve just completed 3 characters in 3 days to final render standard for a client. Far from being hard, or making me weary I actually have been thoroughly enjoying it. Of course the worst thing is this is ‘supposed’ to be week of my fortnight off lol. But I’m having so much fun it’s unreal as they are totally different style wise t anything I’ve ever done and a fair jump in a number of ways to some of my recent works. Although to be fair, people haven’t seen any ‘serious’ works form me for a little while due to being busy as a bee in busy season working for various clients on projects.

There have been a number of exciting developments behind the scenes that I can’t talk about, (although I’m itching to!) But I think they may raise some eyebrows once I can talk about them.

In my personal life, my son is back to sleeping only 5 hours a night and that can be tough at times. But still you get up and get to work as it’s what ‘dad’s do’......we cope no matter what. But I still go out for my 5 mil walks by myself to keep some semblance of sanity. Apart from that I’m still living a hermit’s lifestyle while conducting some render experiments in my ‘free time’. I’ve also been putting a lot of work into my rendering and lighting skills of late. I figured it’s no damn good making good models if they end up rendered out like crap. Yeah it can be boring, but it was something I needed to spend more time on at the expense of my ‘free time.’

Well it’s about 1am here so time for me to start winding down as it’s not a official ‘work night’ and try and get some space back in my brain for non 3d stuff. Although it’s been so long I get edgy when I have ‘time off’ and feel guilty for not working lol.

Friday, 29 February 2008


Well as ever I keep forgetting to update this blog as often as I’d like, but life has been somewhat hectic of late. Career wise I’m overloaded with work offers and things have really taken off, most of them I can’t talk about yet due to non disclosure agreements. However I can mention one I’ve been working on for some time that will soon see the light of day. I started in the middle of last year writing a book on Zbrush for Wordware publishing. Although I still can’t see much about it, I can tell you it’s a BIG book and covers a lot of ground in ZBrush and its pipelines with other applications. Its the book that I would have wanted to read when I first got into ZBrush if thats any guide to you.

Also in a few weeks I start work on an undersea documentary on some really interesting things to sculpt and texture. (I’ll be solely responsible for the creatures in both parts of the documentary which it goes without saying is a MASSIVE job.) On top of this I have the things I can’t yet talk about, the usual plethora of articles on Zbrush and 3D that I’m paid to write and much more. So it’s a surprise that I am actually managing to fulfill my promise to try and have more of a ’life’ this year.

I’ve been getting out 2-3 times a week doing a 5 mile walk deep in the local countryside, which is amazing round here where I live and its great to just chill out with just the sheep and cows for company. I’ve also been moving off line more for not only the fact I need to get out more, but also as with the sheer volume of work I have to do the last thing need is any distractions. I’m still managing against all attempts to slow it down a very high output, although 90% of it are things I’ve not shared online. I realised that a question Glen Southern asked me a week back did indeed need answering from me. ‘Who am I doing this for? For myself or plaudits from others?’ (For those interested the conversation was around the endless stream of shit I get for being 'me' online on 3D forums.)

The answer was ‘myself’ so as such I don’t feel the need to share every god damn ZBrush fart I do these days. I have nothing to prove anymore to anyone except myself so as such I take more enjoyment in stuff and to be honest I don’t have to put up with half the jealous idiots I used to. (If they think they have reason to behave like idiots now wait till the end of the year after the things I have lined up are out lol. They’ll be psychopathic with rage lol.)

Well although its 1.04 am I still have another 4 hours of work let to do, such is the life of the freelancer. Good job I’m a clinical insomniac isn’t it?

Tuesday, 22 January 2008


Well here we are in 2008 with another year behind us. Last year saw a lot of changes in my life both professionally and personally, and I’m betting that this one will be about the same. Some changes I’m making on the professional side are that I’m going to slow down my output a bit and concentrate on a few bigger projects as opposed to my usual ‘machine gun’ approach. I feel it’s about time for another change in my style artistically, (which is something I try to do once or twice a year to keep things fresh.)

As last year I did 149 models (not counting the ‘work’ ones) I feel I’ve proved to myself that I can step my output up to pretty damn high output when required. So now I’m stepping back and taking more enjoyment in the models I’m planning to do. It also gives me time to expand my ‘scope’ a bit into other areas than just the digital sculpting side. The trouble is that sculpting is so much damn fun! But I am having rather a nice time at the moment brushing off the production side of rendering and lighting etc, which is something I’ve not done a lot of the last 12 months.

In my personal life I expect my usual bad luck to keep going as it has most of my life, although I am planning on taking more ‘me’ time than I have for quite a while. There are a lot of things I want to catch up on and need to stop being so insular and work absorbed. Basically it’s time to ‘get a life’ again. I’ve recently took about 3 weeks offline to give myself some breathing space while I got on with some work for a client. I felt the need to unplug for a while.

The internet can be addictive to me, so as I get older I find myself taking a step back from it more and more as a result. Plus there are some things I enjoy doing that I’d rather do without the distractions of the net, such as traditional art and sculpture. I’m planning on getting back into my clay work this year once I get some important jobs handed in. It’ll be interesting to see how one has affected the other.