Tuesday, April 08, 2014


Blended Box Mapping and Baking Textures in 3ds Max by Paul Neale

This tutorial covers how to use take an approach to remove the seams that result from UVW box mapping.  Instead of a single UVW modifier, use 3 modifiers each set to planer.  The best part, however is the material he generates for this landscape in the Slate editor, and then how to bake this into a bitmap for export to games.


Generating a Procedural Mountain Range

Great approach to generating procedural landscape in 3ds max.  Of course -- it's from Paule Neale.


22 Best 3ds Max Tutorial Videos for 3D Designers and Animators

22 Best 3ds Max Tutorial Videos for 3D Designers and Animators -- a good collection of helpful, solid techniques.




Cebas moskitoRender for 3ds Max

Cebas moskitoRender for 3ds Max promises to bring the benefits of GPU rendering to 3ds max while supporting the mental ray materials library -- wouldn't that be great.




Mudbox Sculpt & Paint Layers to 3ds Max 2015 (non-destructive interop)


Autodesk CG Student Awards - 2014

Autodesk CG Student Awards - 2014 from CG Student Awards on Vimeo.


3ds max character modeling tutorial (from template)

This is a 5 part tutorial on building a humanoid character in 3ds max, from template setup in Photoshop to low poly techniques in 3ds max.


Creating CONSTRUCT: How NVIDIA GPUs are Defining a New Filmmaking Paradigm

Creating CONSTRUCT: How NVIDIA GPUs are Defining a New Filmmaking Paradigm

Thursday, February 06, 2014


Charge the Dragon I: an Animated Short

New short on the Area -- http://area.autodesk.com/areaadmin/ooyala/show/NydWlkazqMvdzjfbjlff8LTPEV1OXBy2/982/552#ooid=NydWlkazqMvdzjfbjlff8LTPEV1OXBy2


Rise -- Nicely Done.

"Rise is an experimental CG short film made to evoke us the beauty and rarity of water on earth. Music : Childhood by Alexandre Desplat - The Tree of Life OST"


New Motion Builder Tutorials on The Area

Compared to Autodesk's other offerings, there's been a noticeable lack of Autodesk tutorial materials for Autodesk Motion Builder.  Digital Tutors has some excellent materials.  Given the complexity and capability of this product, I've always found this strange.  Glad there stepping up:  Here are the first of what I hope will be a valuable series: http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/cory/getting-started-with-motionbuilder

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 10:26 AM 0 comments

Friday, January 31, 2014


Normal Map Generators

I've been looking around for utilities for generating normal and height maps.  Here are a few I tried out this week:

  1. nDo
  2. Crazy Bump
  3. SSBump Generator
  4. xnormal
  5. ShaderMap
nDo nad Crazy Bump do the job, but are more expensive than Shader Map.  SSBump is open source, but eccentric and more limited.  NVidia makes one for Photoshop, but it consistently gets a low rating.

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 7:50 AM 0 comments

Nice Short! Love in the Time of Advertising

Love in the Time of Advertising from Love in the Time of Advertising on Vimeo.

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 7:44 AM 0 comments

Populating a hillside with trees and plants using Particle Flow

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 7:43 AM 0 comments

Explosions with Particle Flow -- Louis Marcoux

One of the strengths of Particle Flow is how to handle explosions --

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 7:41 AM 0 comments

Casual Games Workflow; MassFx-PF Integration -- from last January

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 7:39 AM 0 comments

Particle Flow Presets from Allan McKay

These were done awhile ago, but they're a good way to get started:  http://area.autodesk.com/blogs/garyd/over_100_free_particle_flow_presets

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 7:36 AM 0 comments

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Grass Generator Maxscript - Free

There are several tools out there for generating grass, and techniques using Particle Flow.  This new script looks interesting in its ability to populate grass, cut grass and clumps with a simple interface:  see it at http://www.themantissa.net/blog/2014/1/20/grass-generator-v1

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 12:40 PM 0 comments

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Flexible Muscle-Based Locomotion for Bipedal Creatures - SIGGRAPH Asia


We present a muscle-based control method for simulated bipeds in which both the muscle routing and control parameters are optimized. This yields a generic locomotion control method that supports a variety of bipedal creatures. All actuation forces are the result of 3D simulated muscles, and a model of neural delay is included for all feedback paths. As a result, our controllers generate torque patterns that incorporate biomechanical constraints. The synthesized controllers find different gaits based on target speed, can cope with uneven terrain and external perturbations, and can steer to target directions. See: http://www.staff.science.uu.nl/~geijt101/papers/SA2013/

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 12:28 PM 0 comments

Process -

A short about what's inside a man's head while going through the "process" of ideation and creation. Combining a range of elements including RED footage, CG, Motion Graphics, and Sound Design.

"Process" from hellopluto on Vimeo.

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 12:25 PM 0 comments

British RAF Fighter Jets Fly With 3D Printed Parts for the First Time

3D printing has taken to the skies again! British Royal Air Force fighter jets have flown with 3D printed parts for the first time.
The parts were created by defense company BAE systems, at a Royal Air Force base in Norfolk. According to BAE Systems, the 3D printed metal components were used on board Tornado fighter jets that made their successful test flights out of the defense firm’s airfield at Warton, Lancashire last month.

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 12:21 PM 0 comments

AGF Pro Environment Creation Toolkit for Unity 4.0.

Unity 4.x already includes a nice set of terrain modeling, texturing and mesh-population tools and assets to generate environments within Unity itself.  You can sculpt terrain, as in Max, Maya or Mudbox, or achieve displacement with height maps.  You can paint textures such as grass, sand, and cliff materials.  You can also paint in trees, flowers and foliage.  This tool looks to enhance this last part.  Take a look:  http://www.axisgamefactory.com/

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 12:18 PM 0 comments

Get Even 'What Is Real' Teaser -- another step to photoreal gameplay

Get Even subtlety removes the classic division between single-player and multiplayer experiences to unfold two linked stories. The game's plot revolves around the memories of its central heroes which have a dramatic effect on how the game progresses.

To create the photo-realistic visuals that bring the gritty universe to life, Get Even is the first game to use large-scale, real-world scanning to create expansive and lifelike environments. This 3D scanning technology combines with advanced lighting effects to create a stunning and believable world that pushes the boundaries of the genre.

This teaser contains few live-action shots. It was meant to show how reality can mix with in-game elements. All locations are actual part of the game in the exact form shown in teaser.

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 12:11 PM 0 comments

MassFx Toolkit

MassFx, the physics system in 3ds max 2014, has been integrated into the Particle Flow particle system, enabling physically-based particle simulations.  That is, you can apply MassFx to water, debris, and other effects.  This scripted toolkit is intended to extend and make things a little easier.

Massfx Toolkit Teaser from A&G Tool Company on Vimeo.

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 12:07 PM 0 comments

Material Switcher to for enhanced realism in 3ds max renders

For many years Neil Blevins has generously contributed to the 3ds max community, all the while working in film at major studios.  Here is a production technique tutorial showing how to quickly switch materials across a number of assets (or their subparts).  Imagine a project where you have many objects using variations on a single material -- how would you mix them up without re-applying over and over?  Check out:  http://www.neilblevins.com/cg_education/switcher_specific_objects/switcher_specific_objects.htm

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 12:02 PM 0 comments

Mechanical Beasts of Burden - Paul Neale

Rigging mechanical models presents a special set of problems -- unlike character joints that rotate on many axis, often several mechanical joints are constrained to a single axis and strung  together to facilitate the same movement.  This can present problems for max's IK solvers.  There's no one better than Paul Neale.  This presentation from AU 2014 last month gives great guidance.

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 11:54 AM 0 comments

Creature Modeling Tutorial - Maya & Mudbox 2014

From Autodesk, another useful tutorial showcasing the Mudbox toolset.

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 11:48 AM 0 comments

Exspert Challence - Mudbox 2014

Autodesk put on several Expert Challenge webinars at the end of last year.  This one on Mudbox is particularly interesting for the re-topology workflow.

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 11:40 AM 0 comments

850 Meters (short film)

This one has been making the rounds at various film festivals -- fun and nice technique.

850 meters (HD English version) from THURISTAR on Vimeo.

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 11:34 AM 0 comments

State Sets in 3ds Max 2014 - Extended View

State sets is a 3ds max tool for organizing animation elements for composting.  It can organize render passes and output by direct link to an After Effects composition, or otherwise output layers to other compositors.  In this video Michael McCarthy shows how you might take advantage of the Extended View workspaces in 3ds max 2014 for this purpose.

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 11:30 AM 0 comments

Helpful Tutorials on trapcg.com -- check out advanced facial rigging

There are many helpful tutorials on trapcg.com -- I particularly like the 2 part set Advanced Face Rig in 3D Studio Max.  It demonstrates how to design and wire an intuitive spline-drawn control panel to drive facial expressions.  This makes facial animation much easier than using the morpher modifier interface.

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 11:23 AM 0 comments

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Facial Animation with Project Princchio, Faceshift (Maya) and Kinect

Faceshift is a free plugin for Maya for facial animation which uses image capture from Microsoft's Kinect 360.  In this demo video, a Project Pinocchio character is published for Maya compatability (including facial bone rigging).  The Faceshift plubin (free from the Autodesk Exchange) is loaded into to Maya, and the plugin is "trained, i.e. reference poses are captured.  Once in place, it can map and record a real-time facial animation on the character.

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 10:13 AM 1 comments

Project Pinocchio Updated -- More Choices, Children, Better Response

Project Pinocchio is a free* technology preview that leverages Autodesk's powerful 3D design and animation tools to provide you with a web-based laboratory where you can create fully-rigged custom 3D characters. Design a creation of your own or modify existing stock characters using a variety of pre-defined body types, facial features, and clothing styles for inclusion in 3D games, animations, and scenes.  Using a web browser and Project Pinocchio, you can create, customize, and download your very own rigged 3D characters from a catalog of over 100 body types, outfits, hairstyles, and physical attributes in a few simple steps. Once you create a character, you can use it in a variety of Autodesk modeling tools to create imagery and movies.

The new updates support a wider choice of humanoid designs and clothing and the ability to create children from the adults.  Most important, the models are fully rigged (including facial blend shapes) and quickly animatable in 3ds Max, Maya, Motion Builder and others.

This technology preview is available until December 31, 2013 after which the web portal may come down.

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 10:05 AM 0 comments

Submissions Open for VES Student Award

The Visual Effects Society is now accepting submissions for the 12th annual VES Student award sponsored by Autodesk! Find out how you can get exposure to the top artists in the industry, win the Autodesk® Ultimate Entertainment Creation Suite® and a trip to Hollywood for the awards ceremony by visiting the VES Website for entry details and rules.

Daniel Brkovic
David Kirchner
Jan-Marcel Kühn
Sascha Geddert
Johannes Peter
Patrick Schuler
Philipp Wolf
Kyra Buschor
Anna Habermehl
Constantin Päplow
Michael Balthazart
Raphaël Gaudin
Clément Granjon De Lepinay
Quentin Sauvinet

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 9:24 AM 0 comments

Alan McKay - Going After the Unattainable

Alan McKay is among the best working VFX artists today.  He's just published a short article about his journey, and some of the decisions made along the way.  In his words, "My intent for this article is not to make a “my life” story, but more to point out certain pivotal moments that changed my life, and trickle in key bits of advice that can be applied to anyone’s career. Also. to demonstrate times of failure, self doubt, and pushing through it to success."  Yes, this is an industry driven by the winds of fashion and non-stop change, and starting out today is different from beginning 25 years ago.....but the feelings, preparation, and excitement are not so different. 

He's given us a good read:  http://www.vfxsolution.com/allanmckay/2013/11/unattainable/

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 9:19 AM 0 comments

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


M and E Cave Event December 1, 2013 in Las Vegas

Autodesk will assemble a bevy of industry gurus across its media and entertainment products at its CAVE event  December 1 - 4 (as part of Autodesk University) at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.  We've learned from many of these folks before, not to mention it promises to be a good party.  Hopefully they will post the Master Class sessions from the conference if you can't attend. For details, pricing and schedule, see http://area.autodesk.com/cave2013

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 9:21 PM 0 comments

Meet the Experts -- Autodesk Archived Webinars

Autodesk offers webinars that demonstrate techniques and offer opportunity to submit questions to the presenters during the resentations.  Recently they have posted the recordings of most of these sessions -- they're long, but often worth your time.  See http://www.autodesk.co.uk/adsk/servlet/pc/index?siteID=452932&id=17148448

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 9:10 PM 0 comments

Digital Tutors Offering Demo Tutorials through Free Account

Digital Tutors is offering several course videos for free this month.  Take a look:

# posted by Jeffrey Abouaf @ 9:06 PM 0 comments

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?