Pinning the Stackhttp://area.autodesk.com/Wed, 22 Oct 2014 06:22:51 UTCIntroducing 3ds Max &#039;Tweetorials&#039;chrismmurray<p>Hi Max-r's,</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">I just wanted to share some things that have been going on since our big <a href="http://www.autodesk.com/subscription/maintenance" target="_blank">Extenstion 1 release</a> at SIGGRAPH in Vancouver. In case you missed that you can find SIGGRAPH my presenation I've added it at the end of this entry. I've also added my "Meet the Experts" webinar that happened last month. Its basically the same thing as the SIGGRAPH presentation BUT I did go deeper in somethings because I was less constrained by time, unlike SIGGRAPH.</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"></p> <hr /> <p style="text-align: left;"><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></p> <p><span style="color: #5d9013; font-family: ff-meta-web-pro, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 24px; line-height: 1.2em;">"Tweetorials" start tomorrow!</span></p> <p>Beginning tomorrow we will be launching a new series of tweets from our <a href="https://twitter.com/Adsk3dsMax" target="_blank">@Adsk3dsmax</a> twitter feed (be sure to follow that feed!). "Tweetorial Tuesday" will be images that highlight simple how-to tutorials in 5 steps or less as shown in a single image. Here's a small (literally) preview of what we've got planned over the coming weeks.</p> <!-- copy and paste. Modify height and width if desired. --> <p><a href="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/c6863e81-44c3-4256-8322-af38511a13ca/2014-09-12_1041.png"><img class="embeddedObject" src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/c6863e81-44c3-4256-8322-af38511a13ca/2014-09-12_1041.png" width="504" height="306" border="0" style="border: 0; vertical-align: middle; margin: 2px;" /></a></p> <p></p> <p>If you have something you'd like to understand better about 3ds Max leave a comment here or reply to one our Tweetorial tweets and we might include it in a future tweetorial!</p> <hr /> <p></p> <h2>Gunslinger II</h2> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle; border: 2px solid black; margin: 2px;" src="http://www.3dtotal.com/admin/new_cropper/tutorial_content_images/777_tid_image06.jpg" alt="Model by Bondhan Kimbalazani" width="314" height="210" /></p> <p><span size="2" style="font-size: small;">(Model by Bondhan Kimbalazni. Tutorial can be found <a href="http://www.3dtotal.com/index_tutorial_detailed.php?id=777&amp;catDisplay=1&amp;roPos=1&amp;page=1#.VBL84fldV8E" target="_blank">here</a>.)</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Besides those two things, there are other happenings in the 3ds Max world going on as &nbsp;you read this. As you know last year was a tough go for the 3ds Max crew but things seem to be mending a bit (still lots to do though). Much of the turn around began at the 1st "Gunslinger" event where the 3ds Max dev team and some key customers locked themselves in a room and through post-it notes at each other with ideas and inspiration for what they would like to see in 3ds Max. Today, Monday, begins the 2nd annual Gunslinger in Montreal. I can't wait to see what kind of awesomeness comes out of this event.&nbsp;</span></p> <!-- copy and paste. Modify height and width if desired. --> <p><a href="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/009e5b49-178a-4a96-964b-27a1b4e34806/2014-09-12_1008.png"><img class="embeddedObject" src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/009e5b49-178a-4a96-964b-27a1b4e34806/2014-09-12_1008.png" width="314" height="210" border="0" /></a></p> <hr /> <p></p> <p>Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check out the webinar or the SIGGRAPH presentation below for more 3ds max 2015 tips, tricks and workflows! As usual, be sure you're following me on Twitter for any late breaking development or other 3D industry goodness!&nbsp;</p> <p><a class="twitter-timeline" href="https://twitter.com/chrismmurray" data-widget-id="412679827993284608" data-theme="dark" width="500" height="400"> Tweets by @chrismmurray</a> <script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[ !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); // ]]></script> </p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <h3>"Meet the Experts" August webinar:</h3> <p>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAFI9-PKb9M&amp;feature=youtu.be&amp;utm_content=buffer11416&amp;utm_medium=social&amp;utm_source=twitter.com&amp;utm_campaign=buffer</p> <p></p> <h3>Extenstion Release 1 SIGGRAPH Presentation:&nbsp;</h3> <p>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25THUlN54Bw&amp;feature=youtu.be&amp;utm_content=buffer08a80&amp;utm_medium=social&amp;utm_source=twitter.com&amp;utm_campaign=buffer</p>Mon, 15 Sep 2014 09:50:08 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/chrismurray/introducing-3ds-max-quottweetorialsquot3dsMax 2015 has been announced!chrismmurray<!-- copy and paste. Modify height and width if desired. --> <p><a href="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Area%20Blog%20Images/media/cec65e6d-38b0-495f-9887-c5601492b3a5/2015%20Splash.png"><img class="embeddedObject" src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Area%20Blog%20Images/media/cec65e6d-38b0-495f-9887-c5601492b3a5/2015%20Splash.png" width="860" height="500" border="0" /></a></p> <p class="MsoNormal"></p> <p class="MsoNormal"></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Wow! What a ride the past few months have been. I can finally say&hellip; 3dsmax 2015 is coming, and I&rsquo;m excited about what it&rsquo;s bringing.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Here&rsquo;s the short list. New features include:</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Point cloud support: Reality capture is the future.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Python scripting: Enough Said</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>ActiveShade rendering enhancements: Mental Ray in the Viewport (&ldquo;always on&rdquo; progressive updating)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Accelerated viewport performance: Somewhere there&rsquo;s a video I did. See the link below.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>ShaderFX: HUGE addition for Game Peeps.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Enhanced scene management: Marketing-speak for&hellip; &ldquo;We re-wrote the frickin layers menu and mashed it up with the scene explorer&rdquo; But that name suggestion didn&rsquo;t fly. Bottom line, the Layer Manager is replaced with a new scene explorer that allows for drag and drop hierarchies, right-click layer creation and TONS more. This is absolutely HUGE in my book.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Placement tools: One of the simplest coolest tools I&rsquo;ve seen in a while. I&rsquo;ve been asking my friends in dev for it and its finally here. This tool, combined with Graphite Tools&gt;Object Paint and the other Layout tools make Max, hands down, one of the best layout tools around.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Quad chamfer: The #1 User requested feature. Done.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&bull;<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space: pre;"> </span>Everyday workflow improvements: There are some big improvements to State Sets. For instance, a new token-based naming convention allowing for easy render pass iterations based on cameras, dates, or filenames (just for example). MediaSync now allows you to START a 3dsmax/AfterEffects interop in AE&hellip; then bring stuff over to Max. More on this later. I&rsquo;m working on a demo to show this specifically. Also&hellip; and this also HUGE... For render passes that include render elements (RE), Stateset/CompsitorLink-RE now creates PRE-COMPS for those RE&rsquo;s. It also creates them in the proper layer order with proper blending modes!!! BOOM. Huge time saver.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"></p> <p class="MsoNormal">There are several other things that I will get into later but this is a LOT of new stuff and several BIG rocks of development have occurred here. I know the community is clamoring for more or different stuff, which I see as good thing because I means that people are indeed using what we are creating. But I also hope people will see that Autodesk&rsquo;s commitment to 3dsmax is real.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">It looks like I will definitely have a lot to talk about on the next &ldquo;3dsMax Happy Hour&rdquo; (follow me on twitter to get the next invite: <a href="https://twitter.com/chrismmurray" title="Follow Me!" target="_blank">@chrismmurray</a>)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">For ALL the deets, including videos check out this page&hellip;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="/3dsmax2015" title="3dsmax 2015 Deets" target="_blank">http://area.autodesk.com/3dsmax2015</a>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Stay Tuned&hellip;.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">C</p>Tue, 18 Mar 2014 16:16:34 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/chrismurray/3dsmax-2015-has-been-announcedLIVE Blog Day 2: CAVE Event at AU2013chrismmurray<p>Yesterday's events were completely awesome. Complete creative brain overload. Sorry the battery died... I blogged the Syd Mead event from my ipad and will post that later today.</p> <p><span style="background-color: #dadfe1;">ALL POSTS ARE IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER. Refresh Often. Typos will be plentiful. Speakers are fast paced and I'm typing/posting in real time. Have mercy.</span></p> <p></p> <hr /> <p><span style="background-color: #dadfe1;">7:57Am&nbsp;</span></p> <p><strong><span color="#005294" face="inherit" style="color: #005294; font-family: inherit;"><span style="font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Between the Thought &amp; the Thing is a Sketch</span></span></strong></p> <h3 style="padding-bottom: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica neue', Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 1em; font-weight: lighter; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #353535; background-color: #fafafa;"><strong>Spencer Nugent</strong></h3> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <p><strong>Sketch-a-day.com</strong></p> <p><strong>@dailysketches (instagram)</strong></p> <p><strong>background.... was math and science major before becoming a designer</strong></p> <p>1.) Visual Language. If you can't present your ideas its as if you have no ideas</p> <p></p> <p>Symbology... IKEA is an examply of powerful symbology...</p> <p>Visual "Alphabet"</p> <p>Line don't exist in life off the paper... we use them to represent a limit or boundry of thing...</p> <p>Visuals speak louder thans words</p> <p></p> <p>A great way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas to choose from</p> <p>Visuals are concise and powerful</p> <p>Sketching is a small subset of visual commmunication</p> <p></p> <p>Sketching is cheap with high volume of output</p> <p>2.) Rapid visualization... techniques and tools (abstraction, simplicity and style)</p> <p>Pens (duh!)</p> <p>When you draw from Observation you build your visual vocabulary. We bring order to Chaos.</p> <p></p> <p>3.) Levels of Sketching</p> <p>personal communication sketch: (communicate with yourself) loose free thinking</p> <p>thinking or exploratory sketching: (more refined or iterative)</p> <p>Functional or technical sketch: (prorcess or sequence)</p> <p>Preentation sketch: Shown to clients.... rendered or digital touch up (combining with other steps)</p> <p>Emotive Sketch: Different POV's, "action shot" or atmospheric or ethereal.</p> <p></p> <p>4.) The key to get better</p> <p>Talent is 10%</p> <p>Practice, Practice, Practice, Practice.....</p> <p>as graphed... its s series of plateaus.</p> <p></p> <p>CHALLENGE: Reem of paper in 31 days (thats 15 to 17 pages a day.... Daaaang</p> <p>500sketches.com</p> <p>Just keep your hand moving....</p> <p>You MUST experiment with techniques... ideas.... genres....observation... imagination....</p> <p>On to Q/A... then live sketching....</p> <p>What I'm going to di differently after this class... change my "default" implement. I usually draw with a technical pencil... I'm switching to a felt pen as my "default" tool for awhile....</p> <p>FIN</p> <hr /> <p>AU Keynote with Carl Bass. I will post a link.</p> <hr /> <p>Autodesk M&amp;E Customer Lunch... forgot to take pics.... &nbsp;if I find any I will repost.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>NOTE: This is an AU event, not a CAVE event. </strong></p> <p><strong>1:20 PM The Kitchen Table Protoyping Course: From 123D to Distribution with Andrew Taylor.</strong></p> <p>I'm looking forward to this because the 123D family of apps are really strong. Its a totally differnt customer than the usual M&amp;E production customer, but I'm intrigued about the possibilities.</p> <p>Going from nothing to a thing... for free or no cost...</p> <p>Overview of the 123D family</p> <p>123D Design</p> <p>123D Sculpt</p> <p>123D Catch (what I'm familiar with the most)</p> <p>123D Make takes an STL model and creates corss section</p> <p>123D Circuits</p> <p>123D Creature</p> <p>TINKERCAD Beginning CAD platform</p> <p>Meshmixer</p> <p>The goal is design Fabrication to test and iterate....</p> <p>Hackerspace.org list of maker spaces....</p> <p>100kgarages.com</p> <p>MakerSQR (app)&nbsp;</p> <p>3d printing services:</p> <p>sculpteo</p> <p>shapeways USA</p> <p>ponoko</p> <p>i.materialise (belgium)</p> <p>INteresting new business models for "home" based Manufacturing...</p> <p>FIN</p>Tue, 03 Dec 2013 15:51:41 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/chrismurray/live-blog-cave-event-at-au2013-day-2LIVE Blog Day1: CAVE Event at AU2013chrismmurray<p>ALL POSTS ARE IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER. Refresh Often. Typos will be plentiful. Speakers are fast paced and I'm typing/posting in real time. Have mercy.</p> <hr /> <p></p> <p><strong>OPENING SESSION</strong></p> <p>9:25AM (All times are local pacific time) All set up and ready to go. Chris Cheung will will be kicking off the event. Lorne Lanning, Co-Founder of Oddworld Inhabitants will also be speaking</p> <p></p> <!-- copy and paste. Modify height and width if desired. --> <p><a href="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/f150c8cc-a381-41b6-9805-daf823745f66/2013-12-02_1225.png"><img class="embeddedObject" src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/f150c8cc-a381-41b6-9805-daf823745f66/2013-12-02_1225.png" width="664" height="649" border="0" /></a></p> <p></p> <p></p> <p>9:30AM Room is just about full... not bad for a Vegas morning....</p> <p></p> <p>Chris take the stage...</p> <p>"CAVE is about creativity...."</p> <p>"What does CAVE mean???" First draft "Creative Arts Vegas Event"... but beyond Vegas&nbsp;</p> <p>Ancient communications began in CAVEs... CAVEs are a metaphor in many parts of our lives... its about a journey.... and exploration....<br /><br />[personal aside: Luke Skywalker found his destiny in a CAVE!]</p> <p>&nbsp;9:45am Introing Lorne Lanning... taking stage....</p> <p>"The Soul of the Game" Deepening Visual Communication</p> <p>Talking about his past... in the 80's art students were told "only Disney and Hallmark cards were the only companies that hired artists"</p> <p>Many start creating art for themselves.... but he realized its ultimately about the audience...</p> <p>"The Star Trek communicator is now the old Motorola Cell phone" LOL...</p> <p>WE COMPETE FOR VISIBILITY.... WE HOPE IT LASTS... [graphic on screen is a garbage dump]</p> <p>"you just don't have any ideas" His mother never told him that.... his work was superficial...&nbsp;</p> <p>What do you care about in your world? is that in your art?</p> <p>You need to connect your life to your work... its about stories... as a painter its a story of moment in time...</p> <p>METAMORPHOSING careers.... pursuing story telling... but doing all kinds of different jobs to stay within the craft....</p> <p>Could have never predicited his trajectory to this point...</p> <p>Wanted to create memorable characters.... the game climate was DOOM and Mortal Kombat...how to do that?</p> <p>wanted to capture the absurdities of consumerism.... widening gap of wealth.... Globalization vs. Sovereignty.... challenges in life.... debt... all went into the "escapist audience"&nbsp;</p> <p>Juxtapose "happy branding" against the ugliness of the reality in an exaggerated world...</p> <p>The Oddworld characters were the bottom of the curve of game heros ("Little heros") If the lowliest of the lowly can make it on their wits... maybe you the USER could too... they focused on lone standing characters (as opposed to something like team play) to relate more with the user...</p> <p>CHARACTERS HAVE AMORPHOUS BEGINNINGS</p> <p>Initial constructs of the characters are evolved as the characters world evolves... the game may never include the complete "wider" picture... but the unseen world elements make it in the character to deepen his pathos (my summary) Example: LOST</p> <p>ABE's INSPIRATIONS....</p> <p>Whose doing the jobs no one wants.... (miners, primitive laborers) with the appeal of Kermit the Frog.. .they were told that Oddworld would have a shelf life of 6 months...</p> <p>Boiled the pitch to its basic endearing moments</p> <p></p> <!-- copy and paste. Modify height and width if desired. --> <p><a href="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/2fb147e3-66fe-46f0-a11d-6fe3288e9d82/2013-12-02_1326.png"><img class="embeddedObject" src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/2fb147e3-66fe-46f0-a11d-6fe3288e9d82/2013-12-02_1326.png" width="1039" height="588" border="0" /></a></p> <p></p> <p>CAVE CHALLENGE (for attendees)</p> <ul> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">text a charcter brief</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">audience votes</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">top ten vetted by another round of voting....</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">top 3 votes ACTUALY GET DESIGNED!!!</span></li> </ul> <div></div> <div>Closes opening session....&nbsp;</div> <div></div> <div>Headed to Next session.... be back soon</div> <div><hr /></div> <div><strong>SESSION 2</strong></div> <div><strong>10:38 &nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Louis Gonzales Drawing on Communication... Story artist PIXAR</span></strong></div> <div></div> <div>Worked on Quest for Camelot (first paying gig), Iron Giant, Osmosis Jones, Monster's Inc., Ratatouille, Incredibles, Nemo, Brave... (wow)</div> <div></div> <div>[Colorful speaker... awesome]</div> <div></div> <div>Images that resonate...&nbsp;</div> <div></div> <div>the human experience... early humans recording their experience (showing cave paintings... there's a CAVE again)</div> <div></div> <div>we experience things through pictures....</div> <div></div> <div>shows a picture of a dude sleeping with his tarantula on his pillow but no context.... the reaction is not the real story...</div> <div></div> <div>Pictures create empathy... "What going to hit your audience in the GUT?"</div> <div></div> <div>Talking about Aristotle's story structure Suffering Struggle and an Overcome</div> <div></div> <div>Suffering creates empathy.... drag the character over the coals for a while.... the struggling.... we begin to share the struggle.... we put our selves there... so when the "overcome" happens we win with the character...</div> <div></div> <div>Dumbo is a prime example... of the empathy structure</div> <div></div> <div>When he's presenting an image... what is he trying to sell? (he doesn't like that phrase but its true)</div> <div></div> <div>Talking about advertising as something that sells a story in 1 image (40's 50 ads) Especially car ads.... they sell a moment in time... snippets of life...&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>VISUAL LANGUAGE PROCESS</div> <div>1.)&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">What is the character POV? Inspiration exploration.... the idea phase...</span></div> <div><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">2.) Execution and evolution</span></div> <div><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></div> <div>INTERESTING... doesn't keep his reference out all the time... puts is away... to let the idea ruminate...</div> <div></div> <div>VISUAL COMPONENTS<br /><br />Line, Shape, Rhythm, Camera, Tone, frame, and Color&nbsp;</div> <div></div> <div>+ Contrast and Intensity and Clarity (keeping things simple)</div> <div></div> <div>Using Saving PVT ryan as and example of Contrast and Intensity</div> <div>[PICS COMING. TALK IS FAST PACED]</div> <div></div> <div>Line:&nbsp;</div> <div>Horizontal Lines: calm, tranquil.</div> <div>Vertical: Steady stable</div> <div>Diagonal: action</div> <div></div> <div>Examples of LINE</div> <div></div> <!-- copy and paste. Modify height and width if desired. --> <p><a href="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/6c05b9ac-7425-4b21-a688-9767d259513c/2013-12-02_1556.png"><img class="embeddedObject" src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/6c05b9ac-7425-4b21-a688-9767d259513c/2013-12-02_1556.png" width="613" height="585" border="0" /></a></p> <div>Shape:</div> <div>Circle (roundish counts): Calm</div> <div>Square: Stability</div> <div>Triangle: Danger... can't hug a triangle)</div> <div></div> <div>Before: (Shape of composition lends to the story)</div> <div></div> <!-- copy and paste. Modify height and width if desired. --> <p><a href="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/d4cd8714-9035-475a-a877-181d91b05319/2013-12-02_1556.png"><img class="embeddedObject" src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/d4cd8714-9035-475a-a877-181d91b05319/2013-12-02_1556.png" width="753" height="610" border="0" /></a></p> <div>After: (see the shapes in the composition? I know the photos suck, sorry)</div> <!-- copy and paste. Modify height and width if desired. --> <p><a href="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/696e2473-e098-4754-a70a-3eb32f5a799e/2013-12-02_1556.png"><img class="embeddedObject" src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/696e2473-e098-4754-a70a-3eb32f5a799e/2013-12-02_1556.png" width="670" height="587" border="0" /></a></p> <div></div> <div></div> <div>Tone: (These images were in B/W.)</div> <!-- copy and paste. Modify height and width if desired. --> <p><a href="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/bebf0305-ccb5-4c4a-8856-9008ca99aa2b/2013-12-02_1558.png"><img class="embeddedObject" src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/bebf0305-ccb5-4c4a-8856-9008ca99aa2b/2013-12-02_1558.png" width="827" height="648" border="0" /></a></p> <div></div> <div>Greys: mellow (like a rainy day)</div> <div>White/Black: intense</div> <div></div> <div>Rhythm</div> <div>Harmony vs. chaos</div> <div></div> <div>Framing:</div> <div>Balanced or unbalanced... framing is part of the story subtext</div> <div></div> <div>Dissecting lots of film frames.... great examples...</div> <div></div> <div>Images make us connect. Connection is everything....</div> <div></div> <div>FIN &nbsp;&nbsp;</div> <div></div> <div>Lunch is next... will update photos (and spelling) soon...</div> <div></div> <div></div> <div><hr /></div> <div></div> <div><strong>1:30 NEXT UP. Afternoon Keynote Angelo Sotira CEO of DeviantART and Neil Gaiman, Author</strong></div> <div></div> <div>Memory lane...</div> <div>Lemming, Wolfenstein 3D, DOOM</div> <div></div> <div>"I would beat you in Doom and make fun of &nbsp;you" lol Made DOOM Maps and shared them.</div> <div></div> <div>Talking about running the Netherworld BBS back in the day.&nbsp;</div> <div></div> <div>Built Dimension Music site for a girl... Ha! Added MIDI files to make it rockin</div> <div></div> <div>...but discovered the MP3 and adopted it (1995)</div> <div></div> <div>Written up in WIRED 3 times by the time he was 16.... daaaang.</div> <div></div> <div>Sold his first business to Michael Ovitz at 17.</div> <div></div> <div>Lost everything -- everything at 19 -- in the dotcom boom...</div> <div></div> <div>So went back to building communities. Returned to WINAMP</div> <div></div> <div>Launched DeviantART on 8/7/2000...</div> <div></div> <div>Every DA team member posted on EVERY posting.... culture of inclusion</div> <div></div> <div>Create &gt; entertain &gt; Inspire</div> <!-- copy and paste. Modify height and width if desired. --> <p><a href="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/4f604daa-9c05-45bb-aacb-ef4b00294a0d/2013-12-02_1650.png"><img class="embeddedObject" src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/4f604daa-9c05-45bb-aacb-ef4b00294a0d/2013-12-02_1650.png" width="767" height="543" border="0" /></a></p> <div></div> <div>Beautiful thing about DA and that it helps not just encourage... but gives courage to artists....</div> <div></div> <div>Largest community of artists in history of the world....</div> <div></div> <div><strong>Up next Neil Gaiman</strong></div> <div></div> <!-- copy and paste. Modify height and width if desired. --> <p><a href="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/90693e35-1473-4ae5-877f-42e5136b647c/2013-12-02_1709.png"><img class="embeddedObject" src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/90693e35-1473-4ae5-877f-42e5136b647c/2013-12-02_1709.png" width="1157" height="615" border="0" /></a></p> <div>Opens talking about Chinas first state sanctioned SciFiction conference in 2007.&nbsp;</div> <div></div> <div>Most important thing they should be doing is daydreaming....</div> <div></div> <div>Imaging is the most important thing we can do.... At some point everything that is made is imagined....</div> <div></div> <div>Writers get asked where we get our ideas from.... then we make fun of you.... [laughter]</div> <div></div> <div>He didn't realize that he joked becasue he didn't know the answer to the question himself.... but in group of 7 year olds.... he was forced to tell them the truth &nbsp;"the important thing about ideas is daydreaming, we get them from being bored ... we notice things... we look at things"<br /><br />"What if..." &nbsp;"If only..." "I wonder..." the follow the idea.... ask questions about the idea....</div> <div></div> <div>Confluence is the place where real ideas come from... when two things you know come together in some way "What happens if a werewolf bit a goldfish?"</div> <div></div> <div>Science Fiction is a Process of Imagining...</div> <div></div> <div>No such thing as writings block.... no one sees the first draft....</div> <div></div> <div>Imagning is the most important thing of all....</div> <div></div> <div>Coraline was typo in a lettler to someone named Caroline... he loved it and kept it.... and imagined somethign new with that name....</div> <div></div> <div>NOW opening to Q/A</div> <div></div> <div>Talking about Sandman.. Movie? TV show? Maybe... but he doesn't have control over it... DC owns it..</div> <div>Asked about creating on "dark days": Has a deal with himself.. you have to create every day... No internet... and two has allowed to do nothing... but he can't do anything else that isn't writing.... after 5 minutes of doing nothing... writing seems more interesting... On really bad days... just make SOMETHING.</div> <div></div> <div>A year on he can't tell what was written on good days or bad days.... its impossible to fix something that isn't there...</div> <div></div> <div>FIN</div> <div><hr /></div> <div><strong>2:37 Next UP Scott Roberston: Techniques to Aid the Creative Process</strong></div> <div><strong><br /></strong></div> <div>NERD ALERT: I brought my <em>Lift Off</em> book. Hoping to get is signed.</div> <div></div> <div>2:48 PACKED Room. About to start</div> <div></div> <div>Beginning with CAVE painting.... more CAVE</div> <div></div> <div>15000 years to Frank Lloyd Wright</div> <div></div> <div>Tons of happened in the last 50 years...</div> <div></div> <div>Started Digital 2D in the 90s. Digital Tools have changed the landscape.</div> <div></div> <div>Uses about 20 different pipelines</div> <div></div> <div>Traditional Media sketching....</div> <div>Using Cutout filter in PS for abstraction broadens his view</div> <div>collage...reveals new things you wouldnt' normally draw...</div> <div></div> <div>REALLY fast pace...showing lots... tons of nuggets</div> <div></div> <div></div> <div>Abstraction, Foundatation drawining skills, &nbsp;</div> <div></div> <div></div> <div>trad media, copic markeers on mylar... showing time lapse</div> <div></div> <div>Abstraction....</div> <div></div> <div>In abstract images we look for figures...</div> <div></div> <div>Damn... amazing evolutions of abstractions...</div> <div></div> <div>warping brushes over drawings....&nbsp;</div> <div></div> <div>Man TONS of techniques here tooooo much to type.</div> <div></div> <div>the theme here is finding things you wouldn't have drawn by yourself....</div> <div></div> <div>Symmetry...&nbsp;</div> <div></div> <div>uses mirrored pics of driftwood for underpaintings of alien characters... brilliant... photographs crumpled pieces of paper with symmetry.... dang....</div> <div></div> <div>this guy is frickin genius...</div> <div></div> <div>Symmetrical photos of food to make aliens... good God.&nbsp;</div> <div></div> <div>3D Base underpainting .. obvius for us 3D guys... but execution is amazing...</div> <div></div> <div>Brain overload.... uses vehicle designs, strips the wheels, turns them on end... adds lighting they become buildings...&nbsp;</div> <div></div> <div>Starts hyperreal and works backwards...</div> <div></div> <div>Best talk of the day so far....</div> <div></div> <div>FIN</div> <div></div> <div>[PS got my book signed :) ]</div> <div><hr /></div> <div><strong>4:13 Next up: Dan Simon&nbsp;</strong></div> <div></div> <div>That last talk was mind blowing. Sooooo many techniques....&nbsp;</div> <div></div> <div>Here we go...</div> <div></div> <div>Vehicle design... Tron... Oblivion, Captain America...</div> <div></div> <div>"What if..." another theme...</div> <div></div> <div>looking at modernity in old photos... whats old is new</div> <div></div> <div>Certain shapes have found their perfections. Showing '53 Boeing 707 and comparing it to the new dream liner...</div> <div></div> <div>Take out dings and dents and rivets.... everything looks modern...</div> <div></div> <div>This talk is really about evolution of moderinty&nbsp;</div> <div></div> <div>Showing some behind the scenes of his studio at universal...</div> <div></div> <div>They 3D Printed the Bubble Ship components from Oblivion and they were sent to Tom Cruise so he could have character input on the vehicle...</div> <div></div> <div>Designs AND Models his designs. They are then constructed from his own Alias designs....</div> <div></div> <div>Battery about to die... sorry guys. Hopefully I can get it charged up before the John Cleese talk...</div> <div></div> <div>[ADDED LATER]</div> <div></div> <div><hr /></div> <div>Syd Mead, the Future of Everything</div> <div></div> <div><span style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">Car is still the most magical invention</span><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">More caves..&nbsp;</span><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">Going to be doing things in 20 years that will make what we do today unrecognizable</span><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">Paid to be creative for 61 years</span><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">Designs in situ. nothing is an island</span><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">Ideas have no weight or value until you assign&nbsp; them&nbsp;</span><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">If you do something right the first time, why do it over and over?</span><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">Fantasy designs</span><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">Fantasy has to have some recognizable link to the real world.&nbsp;</span><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">Transportation</span><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">How do you future proof you designs? [</span><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">If it's happened.. It's in a book. I don't get paid to research.&nbsp;</span><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">If you have a million dollar computer and a dumb idea you have a million dollar dumb idea</span><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">Transportation involves story. Not just the vehicle.&nbsp;</span><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">Showing his break downs... Very cool. Old school.&nbsp;</span><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">Movies</span><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">Talking about blade running now... It's magic</span><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">Industrial design in reverse</span><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">Elysium</span><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: #000000; font-family: 'Segoe UI', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: normal;">All sci if movies have to have a corridor (laughter)</span></div>Mon, 02 Dec 2013 17:26:34 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/chrismurray/live-blog-cave-event-at-au2013Modeling with Point Clouds in 3ds Max 2014.chrismmurray<p>So when the new point cloud support came out in 3ds Max 2014 the first thing I wanted to do, like many of you, was to begin using it for reference modeling... Well, as fate, and product roadmaps, would have it, this first iteration of PC support is intended for reference alright... but more like the positioning variety. As a modeler, I really want to model directly on the point cloud object and use it to construct surfaces. At this point though, there are no automated tools in Max to mesh a point cloud. I know, I know, this is disappointing to some of you and we can debate the merits of some added functionality in a different post (but you may seek immediate releif here:&nbsp;<a href="http://3dsmaxfeedback.autodesk.com/forums/80695-general-feature-requests/suggestions/2892091-point-cloud-tools" style="line-height: 1.5em;">http://3dsmaxfeedback.autodesk.com/forums/80695-general-feature-requests/suggestions/2892091-point-cloud-tools</a></p> <p><a href="http://3dsmaxfeedback.autodesk.com/forums/80695-general-feature-requests/suggestions/2892091-point-cloud-tools" style="line-height: 1.5em;"></a><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">But the reality is we have something new, what CAN we do with it? (I'm a glass half-full kinda guy) So I embarked a purely experimental journey of discovery in 3dsMax using what I know about its modeling tools and tried to develop a bruteforce modeling method. Yes, I know there are automated tools out there like Cloud2Max and Frost. But I also like to use Max in what I call "swiss army knife mode". And, in the spirit of eating my own dogfood (euphemism of course) I found some things out about Max that I'm (ahem) talking to dev about. If you come to AU (Autodeskcave.com) we have a bevvie and discuss amonst ourselves. But I digress.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></p> <h4><strong><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Oh the Humanity.</span></strong></h4> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">So lets start with the heartbreak and get what didn't work out of the way. Editable poly. Why not? Snaps. Snaps in Max have really improved over the last several releases (2010 was a big rework) but with new features come different ways of thinking about exisiting tools. Until the PC feature, certain aspects of snaps hadn't really beed considered as <em>vital</em>. YES Point Cloud has its own snap mode seen here:</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"> <!-- copy and paste. Modify height and width if desired. --> <a href="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/83c93dae-8700-4014-9bf5-8353ad597530/2013-10-09_1534.png"><img class="embeddedObject" src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/83c93dae-8700-4014-9bf5-8353ad597530/2013-10-09_1534.png" width="416" height="345" border="0" style="border: 2px solid black; vertical-align: text-top; margin: 2px;" /></a></span></p> <p>You can indeed snap an object to a point cloud object in 3Dspace with snaps. No Problem. This is great for object placement-- its original intended use.&nbsp;</p> <p>But if I'm brute force modeling, I want geometry vertex level snaps as well. Snapping SO vertices to point cloud vertices doesn't occur. But more specifically, this also means that using the graphite modeling tool's "Freeform" tools like Topology, Strips, Surface and Splines are all off limits. Big bummer. These are absolutely great tools and would be the perfect complement to PC modeling short of a dedicated solution.</p> <p><a href="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/929d0f07-25a4-467d-9129-2a35a9cf4e7d/2013-10-09_1601.png" style="line-height: 1.5em;"><img class="embeddedObject" src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/929d0f07-25a4-467d-9129-2a35a9cf4e7d/2013-10-09_1601.png" width="1079" height="126" border="0" style="border: 2px solid black; vertical-align: middle; margin: 2px;" /></a></p> <h4><strong>So what else didn't work...</strong></h4> <p>NURBS. Well kinda. Yes I was shocked that I even considered working with them given I hadn't even opened that feature is a long time. But all options were on the table in this adventure. The CV curve creation method did respect the Point Cloud Vertex snaps, which was good to see. But after playing with it a while, my rusty Max NURBS chops were going to be a larger hurdle to overcome than I was willing to engage in. This is what the NURBS dialog looks like in case you've never seen it.&nbsp;</p> <p><!-- copy and paste. Modify height and width if desired. --> <a href="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/957580c4-59c4-4a65-a417-30d9c90ac900/2013-10-09_1615.png"><img class="embeddedObject" src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/957580c4-59c4-4a65-a417-30d9c90ac900/2013-10-09_1615.png" width="162" height="242" border="0" style="border: 2px solid black; vertical-align: middle; margin: 2px;" /></a></p> <h4>End of Spline.</h4> <p>So I settled on a tried and true method that I saved until last because I suspected it would work and that the spline modeling method. This is not a new method but is not used as often as I think (i could be wrong... let me hear from you spline peeps!).</p> <p>So what is the spline method?</p> <p>Its a method of modeling that uses splines to create 3 or 4 sided regions that are then "stretch" with a patch using the Surface Modifier.</p> <p><!-- copy and paste. Modify height and width if desired. --> <a href="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/54a5d77e-0701-410c-9621-d29835a60cd9/2013-10-10_1338.png"><img class="embeddedObject" src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/54a5d77e-0701-410c-9621-d29835a60cd9/2013-10-10_1338.png" width="764" height="245" border="0" /></a></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Back in December 2012 I did a big blog post on this method so I won't rehash it now. <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>You can find that Blog post </strong></span></span><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="/blogs/chrismurray/modeling-with-spline-cages-and-the-surface-modifier-in-3ds-max" title="Spline Modeling entry." target="_blank" style="line-height: 1.5em;">here</a></strong></span><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">But one thing that <em>is new</em> is that I decided to record this process, warts and all. So I created a video of over 5 hours, time-lapsed down to about 15 minutes, of modeling what-not. I was not in a hurry and I was doing a lot of experimenting with different methods and stratgies. I also got a little deeper in to various spline tools that really aid in the spline modeling process. I haved extracted those clips and added explanations as to what I'm doing there and how those tools work.</span></p> <h4>You really didn't just do that did you?</h4> <p>Yes. Yes I did. I even hacked a method (emphasis on hacked) where I do a viewport preview of the point cloud object saved as an image sequence then tweak the images in photoshop, and use the images as painting reference in Mudbox.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> <h4>And now on with the show.</h4> <p>Here are the videos.</p> <p><strong>Time Lapse of the entire experiment:</strong></p> <p>http://youtu.be/cGrJeSVf-tE</p> <p><strong>Spline specific tools that make the process easier. (refine, refine connect, cross-insert, cross section, fuse)</strong></p> <p>http://youtu.be/G8-5Zww2lMo</p> <p><strong>The "Viewport-preview-to-images" hack for Mudbox texture painting.</strong></p> <p>http://youtu.be/DIx3lmTCyjg</p> <h4><strong>Behind the Scenes</strong></h4> <p>I would be remiss if I didn't mention the hardware tools that added to this adventure.</p> <p>This was the first project that I really got to put the <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.wacom.com/en/gb/creative/cintiq-22-hd" target="_blank">Wacom Cintiq HD22</a></span> through its paces. It was really great and has changed they way I work in Max in certain ways. For example, the spline creation and editing on the point cloud object was greatly accelerated, especially the editing and placement of the vertices in 3ds Max. It took me a while to get all my buttons and prefs set up the way that I wanted. I rarely needed to touch the key board. I'm still tweak the sensitivy of some things as you can see in the video. Being able to turn the touch mode on/off at will was critical. Not having touch on all the time was essential, but having it when I needed it kept me in my work zone longer. Definite plus.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">For the Mudbox portion, in conjunction with the tablet I was using the <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.3dconnexion.com/index.php?id=271" target="_blank">3DConexxion Space Mouse pro</a></span>. I love this device. I know its not for everyone but once you get your muscle memory down (as well as your keyboard short cuts) its really a fluid experience. Normally I mouse righty and SpaceMouse lefty. But I'm lefthanded. And now with hte tablet in the mix I had to relearn the Spacemouse in reverse. But I took the time to recreate some new custom short cuts for the SpaceMouse for Mudbox and it worked out great.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">(Disclaimer: Both companies provided me with the hardware I used. But my opinions are my own for this blog post. If I didn't feel they made an impact in this process, I would just say nothing).&nbsp;</span></p>Wed, 09 Oct 2013 16:20:23 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/chrismurray/modeling-with-point-clouds-in-3ds-max-20143dsMax 2014 Enhanced UI and Mograph UIchrismmurray<p>One of the new things I really like about 3dsMax 2014 is the new enhanced UI menu system. Its <strong><em>off</em></strong> by default but its easy to turn on and even easier to customize.</p> <p>At NAB2013 I previewed a new UI Menu system that I created with this feature specifically with Motion Graphic artists in mind -- and any new user really.</p> <p>You can get the Mograph Tools UI I created HERE: <a href="https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3883410/MographUI.zip">Download</a></p> <p><img src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Area%20Blog%20Images/media/bae85fd1-61ea-44ac-9afb-cfb16a25bb96/2013-05-20_1519.png" style="border: 2px solid black; margin: 2px;" width="1000" /></p> <p>In this video quicklook, I show how to invoke the new UI and begin customizing it. In the second half of the video, I cover the Mograph Tools UI that I created and discuss why I made of some of the UI choices that I did.</p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Enjoy!</span></p> <p></p> <p>http://youtu.be/midG2jIoP-A&nbsp;</p> <p></p> <p>For more posts and updates:</p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/chrismmurray" class="twitter-follow-button" data-show-count="false">Follow @chrismmurray</a> <script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[ !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs'); // ]]></script> </p>Tue, 21 May 2013 14:41:44 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/chrismurray/3dsmax-2014-enhanced-ui-and-mograph-ui3dsMax2014: Features and Improvements you might have missed.chrismmurray<p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">So one of the myriad of things I get to work on at Autodesk is to take what marketing thinks is important and message that to the masses in ways we can all understand. Face time (at tradeshows etc...) given to anyone product is usually at a premium so not all the new features in any given release are given equal time. Some, unfortunately get no face time.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><br />In this post I want to discuss a little more in-depth about the 2014 release of 3dsMax and specifically the lesser known features and improvements that really didn't see <br /> the light of day. <br /> <br /> Here's a short list of what we will cover here. You can click on each one to jump right to that section. <br /> <br /><a href="#EOU">Ease of use </a><br /><a href="#Rel">Reliability</a><br /><a href="#data">Data Exchange </a><br /><a href="#anim">Character Animation (Not Populate) </a><br /><a href="#pflow">Pflow (not the standard New feature stuff) </a><br /><a href="#materials">Materials</a><br /><a href="#rendering">Rendering</a><br /><a href="#views">Viewport Performance (specifics) </a><br /><a href="#file">File Handling </a><br /><a href="#NFV">Already released New Feature Videos </a><br /><a href="#SAT">Small Annoying Things </a></p> <h2><br /> <a name="EOU" id="EaseOfUse"></a>Ease of Use</h2> <p><strong>Reorganized Main Menu:</strong> The main 3ds Max menu bar has been reorganized to be easier to use, and to make frequently-used commands easier to access. Icons have also been added. This includes the addition of the new Enhanced Default UI. Found here:</p> <p><img src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/08900018-6895-4128-9f59-b42826c18ce9/2013-05-06_1039.png" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p></p> <p><strong>Mouse and Viewport Default Settings</strong>: Some mouse and viewport default settings have been changed to make 3ds Max easier to use; and in particular, to make it easier to select sub-objects. In particular:</p> <ul type="circle"> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Visual Style &amp; Appearance panel (or the Rendering Method panel for legacy viewports)</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Selection Brackets is now off by default.</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Display Selected With Edged Faces is now on by default.</span></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/5b4851e5-5872-4f80-a757-7f125fcfe107/2013-05-01_1422.png" alt="Grab" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /><br /> <br /> <br /> <strong>Background panel (In Viewport Configuration)</strong></p> <ul> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Aspect Ratio Match Rendering Output is now the default choice.</span></li> </ul> <p><strong>Mouse panel</strong></p> <ul> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">AutoFocus Viewport is now on by default.&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Zoom About Mouse Point (Orthographic) and Zoom About Mouse Point (Perspective) are both on by default.&nbsp;</span></li> </ul> <p></p> <p><img src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/72d39ff6-093d-495b-9f2b-f4e12604dc20/2013-05-01_1514.png" alt="Grab" style="line-height: 1.5em; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p><strong><br /></strong></p> <p><strong>Cycling the Active Viewport</strong></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">You can now use (the Windows logo key) + Shift to cycle the active viewport.&nbsp;</span></p> <ul> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">When all viewports are visible, pressing +Shift changes which viewport is active.&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">When one viewport has been maximized, pressing +Shift displays the available viewports. Repeatedly pressing +Shift changes the viewport focus: When you release the keys, the viewport you chose becomes the maximized view.&nbsp;</span></li> </ul> <p>http://screencast.com/t/ceos89XU [FLASH REQUIRED TO VIEW]<br /><br /><br /><object id="scPlayer" width="601" height="384" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" data="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/af8081a5-843a-4b40-819f-fc8dbfa48f31/jingswfplayer.swf">Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required. </object></p> <p></p> <p><strong>Interruptible Auto Backup </strong></p> <p>While 3ds Max is saving an auto backup file, it displays a message to that effect in the prompt line. If the scene is large and you don't want to take the time to save it at&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">this point in time, you can stop the save by pressing the Esc key. (If the scene is not large, the prompt appears for only an instant.)</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><br /></span></p> <p><img src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/3e569081-dad3-4ae5-98bd-ca7b83ec132c/2013-05-01_1553.png" alt="grab" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /><br /> <br /> <br /> <strong>Changes to the Isolate Tool</strong></p> <p>The Isolate Tool is now on the Scene menu (in the Enhanced Menus), which has an option to Isolate Unselected as well as Isolate Selected objects. Also, Isolate no longer zooms viewports by default. To zoom as well as isolate, choose Scene Isolate Zoom Extents On Isolate before you isolate an object or selection. <br /><br /></p> <p>[As seen in the Enhanced Default Menu]</p> <p><img src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/74f34d36-b7a5-4bd0-97fa-d1f8550814e6/2013-05-01_1628.png" alt="grab" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2><br /> <br /> <br /> <a name="Rel" id="Rel"></a>Reliability/Stability</h2> <p></p> <p><strong> Mesh Inspection</strong> <br /> The new <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><em>Mesh Inspector</em></strong></span><strong> </strong>checks Editable Mesh and Editable Poly objects for errors in texture channels and topology. This reduces the number of fatal errors that 3ds Max will&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">encounter.&nbsp;</span></p> <p>You can find options for Mesh Inspector behavior on the Customize menu of the <strong>Enhanced Default UI</strong>. <br /><br /></p> <p><img src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/23c5e44e-bf87-4e15-ad23-8800af1e802e/2013-05-02_0920.png" alt="mesh inspector" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /><br /> <br /> <br /> <strong>mental ray Renderer </strong></p> <p><br /> If the mental ray renderer encounters a fatal error, 3ds Max continues to run, although to create a mental ray rendering again you need to restart 3ds Max. <em>So what's the&nbsp;</em><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><em>point?</em> The point is that it gives you the chance to save your work and bring 3dsMax down gently as opposed to a lock up that causes you to lose work and potentially corrupt a&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">file with a hard reset. File this one under the Lessor of Two Evils.</span></p> <h2><br /> <br /> <a name="data" id="data"></a>DATA Exchange</h2> <p><br /> <br /> <strong>File Link Manager </strong></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">When you link to a Revit or FBX file that contains a Daylight system, the File Link Manager now prompts you to add an exposure control to the scene. See File Link Settings:&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Revit and FBX Files Dialog.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><br /> <br /> <strong>VRML Import</strong> <br /> You can now import VRML files with the 64-bit version of 3ds Max as well as the 32-bit version. You no longer have to use the 32-bit version for VRML import. <br /> <br /> <br /> <strong>Send To</strong> <br /> The Send To feature no longer links to Autodesk Infrastructure modeler (AIM).</p> <h2><br /> <a name="anim" id="anim"></a>Animation and Characters</h2> <p><br /><strong style="line-height: 1.5em;">Hair and Fur</strong></p> <p><br /> A new Scruffle parameter has been added to give you more control over clumped hair. <br /><br /> <br /> <img src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/83fa5352-e8ff-42ef-9668-b25179d0d17c/2013-05-02_1026.png" alt="Scruffle" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p><strong>Skin &amp; track view &amp; multi-object selection &amp; hidden object evaluation</strong></p> <p>Wow, thats a lot. How are these things related? They have all had significant performance improvements.</p> <ul> <li>Skin &amp; trackview curveditor have had big performance boosts</li> <li>Multi Object Selection: Previously there was a huge lag when selecting mutliple objects (by clicking with a mouse). The speed of selection has been improved.</li> <li>Hidden object evaluation: Previously, when playing back animation in the VP, any hidden animated objects were also evaluated in the VP slowing it down. Now this has been improved so playing back visible objects in the VP has better performance (frame per sec) than previous releases.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><strong>What about Populate?</strong></p> <p><strong></strong>There is a lot more to this feature that will be covered in a more in-depth blog post in the near feature. But for now, in addition to whats been shown in the New Feature Videos. What may not be obvious about the feature (which is a testament to good design) is the following.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> <ul> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Believable human motion that varies markedly in style and is free from typical crowd simulation artifacts, such as foot sliding, jerky collision avoidance and sudden unnatural body turning</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Advanced dynamic obstacle avoidance when characters cross intersections and &nbsp;when faster walkers pass around slower ones.</span></li> </ul> <div>Much more to come on this subject...</div> <h2><br /> <a name="pflow" id="pflow"></a>Particle Flow</h2> <p><br /><strong>Advanced Data Manipulation</strong> <br /> Create customized Particle Flow tools with the new Advanced Data Manipulation toolset called <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em><strong>Data Operators</strong></em></span>. Motion graphics artists and visual effects specialists can now create their own event-<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">driven data operators and save results as presets, or as standard actions in the Particle View depot. With the new versatile, easy-to-use Particle Flow advanced visual editor,&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">artists can combine up to 27 different sub-operators to create a huge variety of Particle Flow toolsets purpose-built to meet the specialized requirements of individual&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">productions. (I will be covering this in depth in a future blog post)&nbsp;</span></p> <p></p> <p><img src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/a970efaa-73c7-46a4-9fc9-34273e98b55f/2013-05-02_1420.png" alt="dataops" height="497" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <h2><br /> <a name="materials" id="materials"></a>Materials</h2> <p><br /> <br /> In the Material/Map Browser, when you right-click a material or map, you can now copy it to a newly created library. <br /> <br /><br /></p> <p><img src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/6f0aa66e-238d-4e24-83ff-8146190095a0/2013-05-02_1227.png" alt="matlibcopy" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /><br /> <br /> <br /><br /></p> <p><strong>Normal Bump Map</strong> <br /> The Normal Bump map has been updated to fix a bug that caused normal bump mapping to appear differently in 3ds Max viewports than it did in other rendering engines. In&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">addition, the Preferences dialog General panel Normal Bump options now let you optimize the display of normal bump maps created by applications other than 3ds Max.&nbsp;</span></p> <p></p> <h2><br /> <a name="rendering" id="rendering"></a>Rendering</h2> <p><br /> <strong>NVIDIA&reg; mental ray&reg; Renderer</strong> <br /> The mental ray renderer has a new Unified Sampling mode that is easy to control and renders much more quickly than the multi-pass sampling used in previous versions of 3ds<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Max.&nbsp;</span></p> <p></p> <p><strong>IBL - Image Based Lighting</strong></p> <p>New Skylight options let you accurately generate shadows with IBL images. More than one map can be used as well! <br /><br /></p> <p><img src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/70495473-4a52-4bc3-943b-464c6d491ef1/2013-05-02_1328.png" alt="Skylight-IBL" height="400" width="600" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p><strong>Other Stuff</strong></p> <ul> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The String Options rollout lets you enter options as you would in a mental ray MI file.&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">If the mental ray renderer encounters a fatal error, 3ds Max continues to run, although to create a mental ray rendering again you need to restart 3ds Max. (as previously&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">mentioned)&nbsp;</span></li> </ul> <p><br /> <br /> <strong>NVIDIA&reg; iray&reg; Renderer</strong></p> <ul> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The iray renderer now supports a variety of maps it could not render in previous releases. These include </span><strong style="line-height: 1.5em;">Checker, Color Correction, Dent, Gradient, Gradient Ramp, Marble,&nbsp;</strong><span style="line-height: 1.5em;"><strong>Perlin Marble, Speckle, Substance, Tiles, Waves, Wood, and the mental ray Ocean shader</strong>.&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">New solver method options let you turn on a sampler that improves the accuracy of indoor scenes, and a sampler that improves the quality of caustic lighting.&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The Displacement settings have been moved to a rollout of their own.&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">When you use the Unlimited option, the Rendering Progress dialog now displays the number of iterations that have elapsed, and the progress bar shows an animated stripe rather&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">than an absolute percentage.&nbsp;</span></li> </ul> <h2><br /> <a name="views" id="views"></a>Viewports</h2> <p><br /> Nitrous viewports have been updated in a number of ways to improve performance speed:</p> <ul> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Improved particle flow playback performance&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Improved performance when the scene contains a large number of instanced objects&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Improved performance with AutoCAD files&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Improved playback performance for skinned objects&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Better texture management. You can actually set the size you want for in scene maps!&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Back-face culling in wireframe display&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Nitrous viewports now fully support adaptive degradation, including the Never Degrade object property. See Display Performance Panel (Nitrous Drivers).&nbsp;</span></li> </ul> <p><br /><img src="http://content.screencast.com/users/CMurray/folders/Jing/media/249209f6-b6c0-40c2-8da8-679c8def6e7b/2013-05-03_0927.png" alt="VPConfig" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /><br /><br /><strong>Support for Direct3D 11</strong></p> <ul> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">For Windows 7 systems, Nitrous viewports can now use Direct3D 11.&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The Nitrous Direct3D 9 driver is still available for Windows XP users. And for Windows 7 systems that don't have graphics acceleration, a Nitrous software driver is also</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">available. The Display Driver Selection dialog has been updated to reflect these changes.&nbsp;</span></li> </ul> <h2><br /> <br /> <a name="file" id="file"></a>File Handling</h2> <p><br /> <br /> <strong>Automatic Gamma Correction for Bitmaps</strong> <br /> When gamma correction is enabled, 3ds Max uses the gamma value saved with bitmap files it loads, and saves the gamma value with bitmap files it saves. If the file format does&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">not support a gamma value, uses a gamma value of 2.2 for 8-bit image formats, and 1.0 (no gamma correction) for floating-point and logarithmic image formats.</span><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p><br /> <br /> <strong>Updates to the Log File</strong> <br /> The log file now includes column headings, and entries include the process and thread IDs of the 3dsmax.exe process that added them. (All 3dsmax.exe processes running at the&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5em;">same time write to the same max.log file.)</span></p> <h2><a name="NFV" id="NFV"></a>Previously Released New Feature Videos</h2> <p>Here are the new feature videos of the highlighted features. These videos were released in early April, 2013.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> <p>Particle Flow/mParticles</p> <p>http://youtu.be/mOnUizVvLh4</p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Populate</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">http://youtu.be/yo0Z_naWsMM</span></p> <p>Viewport Pan and Zoom</p> <p>http://youtu.be/gRFDEDc0Stk</p> <p>Perspective Match</p> <p>http://youtu.be/rswNzZoVLh8</p> <p>Nitrous Viewport Improvements</p> <p>http://youtu.be/6MqULSrZTIo</p> <p></p> <p></p> <p></p> <h2><a name="SAT" id="SAT"></a><strong>Small Annoying Things</strong></h2> <p>Here's the list of what specfic SAT's were addressed in this release. Some may already be mentioned above. This is just the list...</p> <ul> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Cycle Viewports With Hotkeys&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Escape Auto-Backup&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Isolate logic has been improved&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Unified Shortcuts with Edit Poly&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Missing Plugins Management&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Unwrap Performance&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Copy Material Libraries&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Caddies: Sliders Direction &amp; Option for Old Dialogs&nbsp;</span></li> <li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Max Scenes Thumbnails (Windows 7)</span></li> </ul> <p></p> <p>Be sure to follow me on twitter for future updates:&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/chrismmurray" class="twitter-follow-button" data-show-count="false">Follow @chrismmurray</a></p> <script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[ !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs'); // ]]></script> <p></p> <p>&nbsp;Special Thanks to Louis Marcoux and Nicolas Holst for their contributions to this list.</p>Fri, 03 May 2013 13:31:35 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/chrismurray/3dsmax2014-feature-and-improvements-you-might-have-missed3dsMax Tips and Tricks: Animated textures with a modifierchrismmurray<p>Often times you may want simplify a way to control things that happen to objects-- like control rigs for bones or reaction manager setups. In this video, I take a look at a method where you can use a special modifier called Attribute Holder on an object to do the same thing. Not only do I show how to setup the modifier, we explore a couple of different solutions to the problem at hand: being able to animate the swapping out of diffuse maps on a character model.</p> <p>Take a look:</p> <pre style="padding: 8.5px; font-family: Menlo, Monaco, Consolas, 'Courier New', monospace; font-size: 12.025px; color: #333333; border-top-left-radius: 4px; border-top-right-radius: 4px; border-bottom-right-radius: 4px; border-bottom-left-radius: 4px; margin: 0px 0px 9px; line-height: 18px; word-break: break-all; word-wrap: break-word; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: #f5f5f5; border: 1px solid rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.14902);">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQkzsJnQulY</pre>Thu, 31 Jan 2013 15:51:42 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/chrismurray/3dsmax-tips-and-tricks-animated-textures-with-a-modifierModeling with spline cages and the Surface Modifier in 3ds Maxchrismmurray<p>Those that have been around 3ds Max for awhile know this technique and although its still a viable modeling method it doesn't get used as much (at least thats my perception). This technique isn't new buts very effective to certain types of organic or unusually shaped hard surface models.&nbsp;</p> <p>Its called "Spline Modeling" or "Spline Cage Modeling". When it was introduced years ago it was called "Surface Tools". What ever you call it, its a great set of modeling tools in the 3ds Max quiver of arrows and deserves another look.</p> <p>Before we jump into the videos, here is a quick before and after from a previous project &nbsp;I once worked on.&nbsp;</p> <p>The image on the top shows the "cage-work" in progress. &nbsp;The image in the middle shows the preliminary surface applied. The last image is the final model. Yes, there were tons of steps in between, but the point is to show what a real deal spline cage looks like and what it can do for you model-wise.&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="border: 3px solid black; margin: 2px;" src="/userdata/blogs/chrismurray/spline_cage.png" width="600" height="294" />&nbsp;<img style="border: 3px solid black; margin: 2px;" src="/userdata/blogs/chrismurray/spline_cagewip2.png" width="600" height="294" /></p> <p>Here is the completed model after additional poly editing.</p> <p><img style="border: 3px solid black; margin: 2px;" src="/userdata/blogs/chrismurray/spline_cagefinal.png" width="600" height="294" /></p> <p>Its important to understand the different ways this approach to modeling can work. For me, it's a starting point. I rarely use this method all the way through to completion. &nbsp;It usually gets me to a jump off point and then I commit the surface to polys and finish the model with other methods.&nbsp;</p> <p>So here are a couple of tutorial videos that break down this method. Video number 1 is the basic how to. Video number 2 is the technique applied to a simple organic object.</p> <p>Enjoy. (By the way, are you following me on twitter? I will tweet other new vids as I make them. <a href="http://twitter.com/chrismmurray" title="Follow me!" target="_blank">@chrismmurray</a>)</p> <p></p> <p>http://youtu.be/fJbWMlqYy_0</p> <p class="MsoNormal">http://youtu.be/-cTdGjqJpeQ</p>Thu, 06 Dec 2012 18:06:07 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/chrismurray/modeling-with-spline-cages-and-the-surface-modifier-in-3ds-max3ds Max User Interface Primer for the New 3D Artistchrismmurray<p>One of the most frequent comments I get &nbsp;from new users to 3ds Max is how complicated the UI is. Well, I'm not going to lie... it is complicated. But you must also realize that 3ds Max does complicated things. Many would like to think that 3d graphics and animation is so commoditized that its like desktop publishing was in late 80's. Well thats just not the case.&nbsp;</p> <p>Sure, there are pro-sumer and hobbyist level tools out there to allow people to plunk around and do some interesting things. There are professional level tools as well that have a very different look and feel to the their UI.</p> <p>But 3ds Max has been around for 20 years. Its a proven tool set and does serious (but fun!) things.&nbsp;</p> <p>With 20 years of hindsight, sure there are UI elements I would do differently. Since I am at Autodesk I get to see and comment on new ideas surrounding workflow and UI.</p> <p>Not knowing (or not saying ;) ) whether things will see the light of day I think its important to have a basic understanding of what I call the "10,000 ft.-Level" of the 3ds Max UI as it stands today. So in order to do that, I've created this UI primer for those artists that are new to 3ds Max. You can have any level of 3d expereince... this is really about organization and a little of the psychology behind the UI.&nbsp;</p> <p>This video is about 15 minutes long, but I believe it might shave a couple of hours off your learning curve.</p> <p>And now on with the show...</p> <p>http://youtu.be/ZJWYLlXcjdI</p>Tue, 13 Nov 2012 15:47:11 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/chrismurray/3ds-max-user-interface-primer-for-the-new-artistCASE STUDY: Network rendering vs Mental Ray’s Distributed Bucket Rendering.chrismmurray<p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align: left;">I recently had the chance to help out a friend with some rendering issues and what actually happened I thought would be an interesting case study here. This is NOT a how-to on acutally setting up and using Distributed Bucket Rendering (henceforth referred to as &ldquo;DBR&rdquo;). This is an exploration of one instance where it was a critical consideration in a very large render job. If you want the &ldquo;how-to&rdquo; of DBR. You can find it in the 3dsMax Help file here: <span style="line-height: 115%; color: black;"><a href="http://docs.autodesk.com/3DSMAX/15/ENU/3ds-Max-Help/files/GUID-81270C05-C3D7-42A9-A129-459389FED064.htm">http://docs.autodesk.com/3DSMAX/15/ENU/3ds-Max-Help/files/GUID-81270C05-C3D7-42A9-A129-459389FED064.htm</a></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-size: 14.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 115%;">The Scenario (drastically summarized)<o:p></o:p></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">It was a huge rendering task for a &ldquo;ride film&rdquo;. If you&rsquo;ve ever done anything thing like this, you know the image rendering and post processing is as big of a task as prepro and production.&nbsp; Rendering immersive environments frequently means rendering images to the specification of the projection system. In the case of my friend (and other ride films I&rsquo;ve worked on) it usually a square image cropped from a larger one (1080x1080 cropped from 1920x1080 or some permutation thereof. Ok&hellip; that&rsquo;s different. Simply and extra step right? Well, ride films are part of 360 workflows (a whole other blog post) which are almost always multi-camera rigs -- front, left, right, top, and back. You don&rsquo;t usually need to render them bottom view. &nbsp;<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Again, in the case of my friend, not only did he have to render 5 camera views, the sequence length was 2,800 frames. (note I did NOT say the film length). So quick math puts us at 14,000 frames&mdash;about 9 minutes if this were a linear piece&hellip;&nbsp; the segment is really only about 90 seconds. Because the design requirements have exorbitant detail and realism, the frames are rendering at between 30-60 minutes per frame. At this point the raging hordes jump in with better ideas and scene optimizations. But hold your horses! When you consider 5 camera sets-ups&mdash;just rendering the elements amps up the complexity almost exponentially. Sure, I concede that studios that only do ride films full time have an optimized system in place. So consider this a learning curve for those who don&rsquo;t. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">So while many of us are willing to tackle a 90 second piece without much concern, these 5 camera setups require lots of planning especially when it comes to rendering resources. Rendering time can frequently equal or surpass the entire production time due to the sheer volume of rendering. Heaven forbid there are changes&mdash;which there always are.<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Finally, my buddy&rsquo;s machines had limited RAM. The scene file took 16gb of RAM just to load the scene. It was swapping like crazy. As you will see below, DBR uses significantly LESS ram while still giving you access to the same amount of processing power. This is a critical consideration on a deadline. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-size: 14.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 115%;">Assumptions<o:p></o:p></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Before we can dig into tackling the rendering task, let&rsquo;s get some assumptions out of the way that are specific to this case study. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst" style="text-indent: -0.25in; padding-left: 60px;"><!--[if !supportLists]-->1.)<span style="font-size: 7pt; line-height: normal; font-family: 'Times New Roman';">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><!--[endif]-->Resolutions are fixed. We can&rsquo;t really cheat upscaling lower res images because of special post processing required by the projection system<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle" style="text-indent: -0.25in; padding-left: 60px;"><!--[if !supportLists]-->2.)<span style="font-size: 7pt; line-height: normal; font-family: 'Times New Roman';">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><!--[endif]-->The quantity of machines is more or less fixed&mdash;at 5. Meaning unless you&rsquo;re a huge shop with unlimited (relatively speaking) rendering resources, you will most likely be rendering with what you have. Assume you can upgrade RAM and drive space. We&rsquo;ll talk about that later.<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle" style="text-indent: -0.25in; padding-left: 60px;"><!--[if !supportLists]-->3.)<span style="font-size: 7pt; line-height: normal; font-family: 'Times New Roman';">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><!--[endif]-->Mental Ray is a requirement. Some of this may apply with VRAY, but that is not part of the scope of this discussion. Since we&rsquo;re talking specifically about DBR, you can assume MR is a requirement. DBR is not available in the other renderers that ship with 3dsMax.<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle" style="text-indent: -0.25in; padding-left: 60px;"><!--[if !supportLists]-->4.)<span style="font-size: 7pt; line-height: normal; font-family: 'Times New Roman';">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><!--[endif]-->Render times or more or less consistently high--- about 30-60 min/frame. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoListParagraphCxSpLast" style="text-indent: -0.25in; padding-left: 60px;"><!--[if !supportLists]-->5.)<span style="font-size: 7pt; line-height: normal; font-family: 'Times New Roman';">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span><!--[endif]-->You know backburner and have used it successfully in some way. Without this context, this post may seem somewhat academic. Having firsthand knowledge of the issues surrounding network rendering will greatly assist you in trying some of these new things out. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-size: 14.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 115%;">Rendering strategy<o:p></o:p></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">OK here we go. This is why you are here. Why even consider anything but network rendering?<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">The answer to this question has direct correlation to assumption #2&mdash;machines are fixed. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Typically we&rsquo;d just throw the frames at the farm and go home for the weekend. But rendering 14,000 frames requires a little more attention to planning. Saving as little as a 2 minutes/frame can equal up to 6 hours of time savings-- every minute counts.<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">But if render times are high (assumption #4) what options do I have? This is where DBR comes in.<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Typically, DBR is a MR feature that is associated with rendering large single images. If you&rsquo;re not familiar with what DBR is here&rsquo;s a high-level explanation. Like net rendering it leverages machines on your network to render images. But instead of sending max files and scene data over and that machine rendering one whole single image&hellip;DBR leverages just the processor core to render portions of a single frame (called a bucket). You already seen buckets in MR, they are the little white corner squares that appear on an image when you render it. Each bucket represents a processor core. So if you have a dual quad-core, you will see 8 buckets. It&rsquo;s pretty straight forward. With DBR, you can render a single frame on one machine faster if you use additional processors than with just that single machine&rsquo;s processors. Those single machines are called &ldquo;satellites.&rdquo; &nbsp;<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-size: 14.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 115%;">Render farm throughput: All frames are not equal<o:p></o:p></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">So how will we apply that here? When considering this method, you have to understand the math associated with the performance of your specific render farm. Every farm will be different. Everyone&rsquo;s math calculations will be different. It is entirely possible that your math may lead you to conclude that DBR may not be beneficial. In other words, you need to know the capabilities of your farm per job. The only way to attain this is to experiment with these two methods.<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">In the case of my friend&rsquo;s ride film, DBR made sense in some cases. What follows is specific to the render farm in question. These calculations will not apply to your farm. But the method of calculation will.<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I use frames/hour as my final metric of rendering power. How many frames per hour can I write to disk? You can get caught up in swapping, memory latency, and all this other stuff. Those all mean something for sure, but ultimately, for me, it&rsquo;s about fr/hr. And for this discussion see assumption #2 (again). <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Many people, rightly so, are strict measurers of minutes or hours per frame. In the context of a single machine this is important. It&rsquo;s also important to know this as part of our calculations. But it isn&rsquo;t the best or final measure of the efficiency of the entire farm.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><img style="vertical-align: middle; border: 3px solid black; margin: 2px;" src="/userdata/blogs/chrismurray/DBR_2.jpg" width="1034" height="795" /></p> <p class="MsoNormal"></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-size: 14.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 115%;">Understanding farm throughput<o:p></o:p></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">So for this rendering example we did some simple tests. We found &ldquo;worst case frames&rdquo;. Lots lights, geometry on full screen, etc&hellip; The frames we think would take the longest to render. Here's what we did.<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst" style="text-indent: -0.25in; padding-left: 30px;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol;">&middot;<span style="font-size: 7pt; line-height: normal; font-family: 'Times New Roman';">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->A series of at least 20 frames were rendered using the straight net render method. This should give you a good estimate about the number of frames per hour you can push through the farm.<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle" style="text-indent: -0.25in; padding-left: 30px;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol;">&middot;<span style="font-size: 7pt; line-height: normal; font-family: 'Times New Roman';">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->That same series of frames were rendering &ldquo;locally&rdquo; using DBR leveraging the processors of the other machines.<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoListParagraphCxSpLast" style="text-indent: -0.25in; padding-left: 30px;"><!--[if !supportLists]--><span style="font-family: Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family: Symbol; mso-bidi-font-family: Symbol;">&middot;<span style="font-size: 7pt; line-height: normal; font-family: 'Times New Roman';">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span><!--[endif]-->Calculate the best option. Net render vs. DBR. The higher frames/hour count wins. Simple!<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">It&rsquo;s important to recognize that as render jobs progress, the render times will change as well. This will impact the efficiency of the two methods differently. In some cases (like early on in the shot where the frame was partially black) straight network rendering was the better option. But in the middle, with all the intricate detail, lights and shadows DBR was by far the better option.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The ILLUSTRATION below is intended to demonstrate when we used old-school net rendering and when we chose to use DBR. The RED LINE indicate scene complexity. The brackets across the top indicate when we use each method. The blue boxes across the bottom indicate the progression through the animation in frames. It is not EXACT as no specific measurement is provided. Its merely an aid to visualise the decision making process for each rendering method.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><img style="vertical-align: middle; border: 3px solid black; margin: 2px;" src="/userdata/blogs/chrismurray/DBR_1.jpg" width="1181" height="751" /></p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align: center;"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-size: 14.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 115%;">What about adding more resources?<o:p></o:p></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>RAM<o:p></o:p></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">RAM is a logical place to add resources to an existing farm. But in this situation there is an interesting thing about RAM usage. The scene file needed 16GB of RAM just to load (not even mentioning rendering and swapping yet), but the DBR method only uses 3-4 GB to RENDER on the host machines. So while adding more RAM may impact overall single frame rendering per machine, adding RAM with the DBR method is negligible because of its low resource overhead.&nbsp; <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Machines<o:p></o:p></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Adding machines will definitely add to your frame throughput in single frame situations. One thing about DBR is that it has a 4 satellite limit (total of 5 machines, your workstation plus 4 others). But now you can begin to make some smart choices given what you now know about RAM usage and the DBR method. It may make sense to add a few bare-bones high-end CPU&rsquo;s with minimal RAM to push through the DBR frames and still leave you room to upgrade them later. Remember, you can pick and choose which satellites to use. As you add faster cores, you can drop slower ones off the satellite list.<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Lastly, there is a 4 satellite limit to using DBR per licensed copy of 3dsMax. If you want to use more than 5 machines, you need to have an additional license(s) of 3dsMax. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Drive Space (for swapping)<o:p></o:p></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">There is another area where people tend to spend some dough; adding drive space for swapping. While this is a decent idea as drive space is SO cheap, I find it unlikely that, unless your render farm also houses your ripped movie collection, you are lacking for drive space. I don&rsquo;t think this a really a great investment unless it&rsquo;s really needed for other reasons.<o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-size: 14.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 115%;">Why not use DBR and Backburner all the time?<o:p></o:p></span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">As I mentioned there is a limitation to DBR. You can only use 4 &ldquo;satellite&rdquo; machines (regardless of the number of cores). So even though you may have 10 machines, you can&rsquo;t leverage all ten on a single machine for DBR rendering. But there is a way slightly more complicated way to do that that is best visualized in the chart below. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Basically, you pick and submit only the licensed host machines to Backburner. NOTE: Each host machine MUST be a licensed copy of 3dsMax. Each host machine that you submit then refers to its own satellites (make sure they aren&rsquo;t a satellite of another machine already!)</p> <p class="MsoNormal"></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><img style="vertical-align: middle; border: 3px solid black; margin: 2px;" src="/userdata/blogs/chrismurray/DBR_3.jpg" width="350" height="600" /></p> <p class="MsoNormal"></p> <p class="MsoNormal"></p> <p class="MsoNormal" align="center" style="text-align: center;"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b><span style="font-size: 14.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 115%;">Conclusion&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal">This solution is not for everyone. This bigger picture here is help you understand where the bottlenecks may appear in your network rendering project and what you can do about it. Sometimes, merely adding more resources isn't the best solution depending on your situation. Since this was a case study from a very specific project, I concede that there maybe some other limitations or factors we didn't cover here. Again, this wasn't intended to be an all encompassing exploration of the in's and out's of DBR. I'm sure you'll let me know about them in the comments section. But please do! I always have something to learn.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">If you're not doing so already, I invite you to follow me on twitter at <a href="https://twitter.com/chrismmurray" title="Follow me!" target="_blank">@chrismmurray</a>.<br /><br /><o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p>Mon, 10 Sep 2012 14:55:08 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/chrismurray/case-study-network-rendering-vs-mental-rays-distributed-bucket-renderingSIGGRAPH 2012 Cometh. What do YOU want to see?chrismmurray<p>I love this time of year and I hate this time of year.&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="float: left; margin: 3px;" src="/userdata/blogs/chrismurray/roscoes.png" width="150" height="260" />I love this time of year because <a href="http://s2012.siggraph.org/" target="_blank">SIGGRAPH</a> is almost here. I know I will see many friends I haven't seen since last year, I know I will hit <a href="http://www.roscoeschickenandwaffles.com/" target="_blank">Roscoe's Chicken &amp; Waffles</a> on Gower in Hollywood. I know I will get my son the latest Pixar movie poster (i've given up on the teapot. I have a life).</p> <p>I hate this time of year becasue there is never enough time. I'm working on some cool demo content this year and its been six months in the making. We have original content that we shot specfically for MAB and SIGGPRAPH. Its going to be really fun. Here's some images from the shoot.</p> <p>But I never have enough time to do everything I want. I know SIGGRAPH is no surprise but there are things I can't write here that put constraints on what and how long I have to show or talk about stuff.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">But you have a say too! I will be doing an "Area Community Presentation" again this year and I would like to hear from YOU about what kinds of thisn YOU would like to see. I can do anything I want... training... tips and tricks... what ever. But I want to see what kind of things you would like to know about. Maybe I will add them to my presentation!</span></p> <p>I'm figuring out what this presentation will be right now... so if you want to see something specific... TELL ME NOW. even if you aren't attending SIGGRAPH, I will most likely post a video of it... so don't hold back. Post your wish list items here on this Blog post.</p> <p>In the mean time, here are some behind the scenes pics of your production shoot for this year's demo content. Big UPS to my friends at Full Sail University in Orlando Florida for having me over for the geek fest. Check them out. (<a href="http://www.fullsail.edu/" target="_blank">Full Sail University</a>)</p> <p><img style="float: left; margin: 3px;" src="/userdata/blogs/chrismurray/IMG_6643_2.JPG" width="320" height="213" /><img style="margin: 3px;" src="/userdata/blogs/chrismurray/IMG_6663_2.JPG" width="320" height="213" /></p> <p>We cast Ginger Leigh as the Heroine of our show.&nbsp;</p> <p><img style="margin: 3px;" src="/userdata/blogs/chrismurray/IMG_6671_2.JPG" width="320" height="213" /><img style="margin: 3px;" src="/userdata/blogs/chrismurray/IMG_6675_2.JPG" width="320" height="213" /></p> <p>Smoke Artist Ken Larue and Softimage AE Mark Schoennagal keeping the PA's busy with food runs.</p> <p><img style="margin: 3px;" src="/userdata/blogs/chrismurray/IMG_6693_2.JPG" width="320" height="213" /><img style="margin: 3px;" src="/userdata/blogs/chrismurray/IMG_6751_2.JPG" width="320" height="213" /></p> <p>Your's truly shooting on the cyc. The day 2 shoot was out on <a href="http://www.fullsail.edu/our-campus#campusExplorer" target="_blank">Full Sail's back lot</a>.</p>Mon, 09 Jul 2012 14:40:04 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/chrismurray/siggraph-2012-cometh3D Artist Profile: Ryan Tow, PUSHpixelchrismmurray<h5><img style="vertical-align: middle; margin-left: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-top: 2px; margin-bottom: 2px;" src="/userdata/blogs/chrismurray/pic3crop.jpg" width="650" height="235" /></h5> <h5>Tell us a little about your self. In a few brief sentences, what are broad strokes of the path that have brought you to this point in your career?</h5> <p></p> <p>Studied landscape architecture. Landed first job at Yung Design Group in Branson, Missouri in 1997, where I used the wierdest hybrid of AutoCAD 3D models, mylar, markers, and ink pens you've ever seen to create architectural renderings for resort marketing. <br /><br />Based on a client request, I made the jump to 3D Studio VIZ R1 in late 1998, and started down the path of the architectural visualization world. Have lost track of how many hundreds of renderings and animations I've done over the years. <br /><br />Opened a dedicated graphics studio for Yung Design Group in Des Moines, Iowa in 2002, which also brought me closer to home. Continued there until striking out on my own in 2010 to found PUSHpixel, which has allowed me to chase some work that was outside of the traditional architectural marketing work I'd done for the prior thirteen years.</p> <p></p> <h5></h5> <h5><img style="margin-top: 4px; margin-bottom: 4px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: left;" src="/userdata/blogs/chrismurray/pic1crop.jpg" width="288" height="144" />What (or who!) were some of your major influences along the way?</h5> <p></p> <p>The first several years of my work in the 3D world were pretty isolated. Being the only guy in the office or even the area code who knew how to do what I was doing forced me to be very self-dependent. While this was extremely frustrating (there is a list a mile long of things I wish I'd known in the first five years that were there all along), it also challenged me to have the confidence required to perform the work at an extremely high level of quality.<br /><br />A foundation in design rather than in the technical aspects of the software caused me to see 3dsmax (and VIZ before I switched over in 2006) as a tool more likened to a pencil. A very expensive and complicated pencil. Once I was at the point where I wasn't fighting the interface or my skill set any longer, it was simply a matter of using this special pencil to apply the things I knew about design to my illustration and animation work.</p> <p></p> <h5>What is favorite non-computer related creative outlet?</h5> <p></p> <p>I have too many hobbies. I can't stop. Highlights are;<br /><br />- Time with my family (wife and three kids)<br />- Woodworking<br />- Remodeling our house<br />- Brewing beer<br />- Photography<br />- Cooking<br />- Camping</p> <p></p> <h5>What is your favorite aspect of 3dsMax and why?<img style="float: right; margin-top: 4px; margin-bottom: 4px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" src="/userdata/blogs/chrismurray/pic2copped.jpg" width="288" height="147" /></h5> <p></p> <p>My happy place is finding the tricks that let me way, way, way over-deliver for my clients while meeting their budgets. Since I have always been in a small operation (largest group of artists I've had on staff in my career was four), the challenge has always been to squeeze more out of less. <br /><br />Finding solutions for my client that don't just look good, but fit within their budget requirements, make them look better, and ultimately make THEIR project or product more successful is probably the thing I like most about 3dsmax.<br /><br />I guess I didn't really talk about the software itself, though. My favorite part of 3dsMax itself is the fact that for any given problem, there are probably at least five ways to solve it. The marriage of the highly technical with the highly aesthetic is hugely pleasing to my need for feeding both right brain and left brain. The entire interface, from the modifier stack to the new Slate material editor, are in essence to me an extremely complex puzzle to solve. Solving that puzzle in the most efficient and aesthetically pleasing way is what allows me to provide my clients with images and animations that bring their ideas into focus and ultimately make them more successful.</p> <p></p> <h5>What non-cg talent or skill has proved the most beneficial in your cg-career (skill, ability, philosophy, what ever....)?</h5> <p>Being willing to put the needs of others - clients, co-workers - ahead of yourself. Never being satisfied that your work is good enough, but also knowing how to temper that with profitability and appropriateness (not ever project needs a feature-film level of detail).<br /><br />It's not a new saying, but there are, as always, three variables to this work. They are time, quality, and money. Pick two of them.</p> <p></p> <h5><img style="float: left; margin-top: 4px; margin-bottom: 4px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" src="/userdata/blogs/chrismurray/pic4cop.jpg" width="347" height="167" />What advice would you give to someone starting to learn 3D in hopes of building a career in 3D or VFX?</h5> <p></p> <p>Even the simplest projects can teach you a ton. I wrestled for years with the frustration that I wasn't doing visualization work for higher profile projects. I must have built a hundred four story, twelve unit condo building models. Over and over and over, it was variations on a theme. It took me getting away from those to realize how much they'd taught me about efficiency, quality, and the process of continual refinement of my skills. Learning that there weren't projects that were "beneath me" was a big deal.<br /><br />With apologies to all who make their living writing them, tutorials aren't going to teach you much beyond the nuts and bolts of the interface. Put the tutorial book down and make something. Make your desk, model your car, do an animation of an alien ship landing in your backyard, but make something.<br /><br />The most beautiful images you've ever seen aren't commercial viable if someone isn't willing to pay you for them. Knowing when to stop is a vital component of this work. There is definitely a place for non-commercial art, but it doesn't pay well.</p> <p></p> <h5>What do you want to tell me (and thus the world) that I didn't ask!</h5> <p></p> <p>What has made me successful (wait, I'm successful?) in this business has been my ability to find a niche and do the best possible work I can in that niche. I can't animate a character to save my life. About every six months, I decide that THIS is the year I'm finally going to master particles or maxscript or NURBS or Feature X. Coming to grips with the fact that I can't do it all was a powerful thing. Knowing what I don't know frees me up to excel at the things I do know. Ultimately, that brings me back to that theme of then allowing me to make my clients more successful. Having fun doing it along the way doesn't hurt either.</p> <p></p> <h5>How do our readers find you (assuming you want to be found)? (Twitter handle, URL, Facebook, Google+, etc...)</h5> <p></p> <p>Ryan Tow<br />Owner | Artist | Animator<br />PUSHpixel, LLC<br /><a href="http://pushpixel.com" target="_blank">http://pushpixel.com</a><br /><a href="http://twitter.com/ryantow" target="_blank">http://twitter.com/ryantow</a><br /><br />Is that enough? don't want to do the social media overload thing. I'm a nerd. I have them all</p>Mon, 04 Jun 2012 17:47:56 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/chrismurray/3d-artist-profile-ryan-tow-push-pixelSubmitting sessions for Autodesk University because its good Karma chrismmurray<p><span style="font-family: Verdana; "><big>Its that time of year... NAB is over. SIGGRAPH is looming over the horizon... but all is quiet in the world.... that can mean only one thing...</big></span><span style="font-family: Verdana; "><big>AU Submission time...&nbsp;</big></span><a href="http://au.autodesk.com/" target="_blank"><span style="font-family: Verdana; "><big>au.autodesk.com/</big></span></a></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana; "><big>AU is one of the most underrated but best shows of the year... Media and Entertainment are the late comers to this particular party but thats changing. More and more visual artists, animators, and VFX types are seeing AU as a true creative intersection.</big></span>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana; "><big>Don't miss out this year. You won't be dissappointed.&nbsp;</big></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/-kodT6jGfTQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>Fri, 11 May 2012 20:00:00 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/chrismurray/submitting_sessions_for_autodesk_university_because_its_good_karma3D Artist Profile: Jamie Gwilliamchrismmurray<p><strong><big>Hi Jamie! Thanks for your time today. Tell us a little about your self. In a few brief sentences, what are broad strokes of thepath that have brought you to this point in your career?</big></strong></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px; "><big>&quot;Ive been creating 3D professionally since 2000. I&rsquo;ve always been interested in design, whether it&rsquo;s architecture, products, or street art. This steered me towards positions as a product designer, a graphic designer, followed by various roles in the architectural world. In one way or another, 3ds Max has been a part of every professional job I&rsquo;ve had. It&rsquo;s crazy to think how much I&rsquo;ve relied on this product over the years.&quot;</big></p> <p><strong><big>What (or who!) were some of your major influences along the way?</big></strong></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px; "><big>&quot;Snowboarding videos seem to have been an influence on me recently, I particularily like the unique style they have, mainly due to the footage grading and cmera moves. the three main non-cgi influences have probably been Stark, Banksy, and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. With the job I do, I'm lucky to see a broad range of 3ds Max users. It's rare not to find at least one piece in their portfolio that doesn't give me some inspiration.</big></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px; "><big>As a child then their was no better inspiration than Lego.I think nurtured my imagination, and hunger for constructing things in CG.&quot;</big></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><big>What is favorite non-computer related creative outlet?</big></strong></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px; "><big>I'm sure every person featured on your site will say photography. It's almost a standard in the CG world now that you must understand how a real-world camera works to work in a CG job. (Sorry Chris but I'm running a Canon 7D currently.) I try to get all I can in the image, but will always do some minor post. I also try to keep a folder of imagery on my computer for inspiration. This is my only creative outlet. My main hobbies are mountain biking and snowboarding. The latter, I tend not to do as often as I would like. You can find me most Saturdays out in the forest. This allows me a chance to switch off and de-stress.</big></p> <p><big><br /> </big><strong><big><img alt="Jamie Gwilliam actually making the jewels." width="300" height="324" vspace="2" hspace="2" border="3" align="left" src="/userdata/fckdata/2093/gwilliam.jpg" />What is your favorite aspect of 3dsMax and why?</big></strong></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px; "><big>&quot;My favourite aspect of 3ds Max is the community of users it has gathered. For me there's no other 3D application out their that has such a strong community of artists that are willing to freely share tips, tools and workflows. It's very rare to find such high quality free tutorials and files. This is how I developed most of my workflows and resulted in me starting my own blog to give back to this exceptional community. </big></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px; "><big>If we were to focus on just one feature in 3ds Max then I would be inclined to choose the 'Flex' modifier. It's such a simple tool, but is amazingly powerful for all types of projects, by adding a secondary level of motion without any complex knowledge.&quot;</big></p> <p><strong><big>What non-cg talent or skill has proved the most beneficial in your cg-career (skill, ability, philosophy, what ever....)?</big></strong></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px; "><big>My awareness of needing to market my skills and share knowledge arrived late to me. I wish I had started this sooner, as it has certainly helped in my career. It wasn't until mid way through my production career that I started to share imagery and animations with software developers. This led to some freelance work as well as leading to me being a beta tester for various products and plugins. The first image I created and shared was for Cebas' finalRender for Siggraph use. This must of been around 2005. This one simple image led to be included in various publications and as result leaded to some job offers. There's a wealth of talented 3ds Max artists out there, but it's often difficult to find them, particularly when language is involved. Sharing your work with people like Autodesk for showreels, or publications like 3dArtist or 3dWorld will instantly raise your profile, and you never know where this may lead.</big></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><big><br /> </big><strong><big>What advice would you give to someone starting to learn 3D in hopes of building a career in 3D or VFX?</big></strong></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px; "><big>&quot;Attend 'meetups' or CG gatherings. You will learn more in one of these meetups than you can learn in a week of book reading or trawling the internet. I try to attend the London 3ds Max User group, The monthly London User Group is regularly attended by 50-60 high-profile users, and has been going for at least five years. The evening is an informal gathering held in a pub, which probably helps the sharing of knowledge. It&rsquo;s also great to hear that more user groups are starting to appear, so keep an eye on my blog for more info.</big></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px; "><big>I would also add, (perhaps controversially) to not believe everything you read or watch on the Internet. Try out different work-flows and tools, and make up your own mind. What work-flow that suits someone else may not suit you or more importantly your style of work. Try not to copy other peoples work, but build on the style and make it your own.If your making a show-reel, then choose some music that is not in well known. The ones I enjoy watching are enhanced by the music which is unique in itself. Don't repeat clips to fill the length of the track. If you don't have enough projects, then just make it a shorter show-reel. For me there's nothing worse than keep seeing the same model or image appearing. (My first show-reel was extremely guilty of this.) I also recommend including a small text description at the bottom of each clip in your show-reel that describes what you did on it. Particularly if you've just graduated and have some joint projects showcased. Don't be worried about saying you only did the texturing on that shot. This reduces any confusion and shows honesty. Finally, I would also say to explore all types of 3d work. the CGI world is merging and the skills needed are merging from each industry. An awareness helps you develop as a skilled artist. Using social media like Twitter can certainly help. You can follow me using the hash tag @3dsjamiesjewels.&quot;</big></p> <p><strong><big><img width="200" height="212" vspace="2" hspace="2" border="3" align="left" alt="" src="/userdata/fckdata/2093/gwilliam2.jpg" />Thanks Jamie! How do our readers find you (assuming you want to be found)? (Twitter handle, URL, Facebook, Google+, etc...)</big></strong></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px; "><big>&quot;Jamie Gwilliam, Autodesk, @3dsjamiesjewels, <a href="http://www.jamiesjewels.typepad.com">www.jamiesjewels.typepad.com</a></big></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px; "><big>I am a 3ds Max Application Specialist, based at Autodesk London. The territory I look after is a varied one, classed as EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). The job involves looking after a number of Media &amp; Entertainment Division products that fall into the Entertainment Creation Suites. My core focus is around 3ds Max, and this is certainly my favourite product. I shouldn&rsquo;t really have a favourite program, but it&rsquo;s difficult to not warm to it, considering I have spent a third of my life working with this creative tool. My role requires me to liaise directly with customers, and also helps our channel partners with their sales activities.&quot;</big></p> <hr /> <p><big><br /> Is there an artist you would like to learn more about? Let me know... comment below and provide links to their work. Don&rsquo;t recommend your self please. You can also tweet me links and suggestions @chrismmurray</big></p> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <h2>&nbsp;</h2>Fri, 20 Jan 2012 19:00:00 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/chrismurray/3d_artist_profile_jamie_gwilliamBob Anderson, Sword Master, Dieschrismmurray<p><big><span style="font-size: small; "><span style="font-family: Verdana; ">In our creative world where so much is fake, when something on-screen that is real is absolutely fantastic we-as movie goers- share in the awe of the human performance and frequently contemplate how we can bottle some it and bring it into our work.<br /> </span></span></big></p> <p style="text-align: left; "><big><span style="font-size: small; "><span style="font-family: Verdana; "><img width="240" height="155" vspace="1" hspace="1" border="3" align="left" alt="" src="/userdata/fckdata/2093/2012-01-03_0053(1).png" /></span></span></big></p> <p style="text-align: left; "><big><span style="font-size: small; "><span style="font-family: Verdana; ">Bob Anderson was a person you don't know, but were in awe of his work. Kind of like <em>Gollum</em> made Andy Serkis a celebrity in his own right, Bob Anderson would have been in the same camp. He was a master swordsman that has made many a light saber battle breathtaking and completely believable. Besides actually playing <em>Darth Vader</em> on screen while fighting <em>Luke Skywalker</em>&nbsp;in Star Wars <u>Empire Strikes Back</u> and <u>Return of the Jedi</u>, he managed to bring numerous other epic battles to life on-screen such as <u>Princess Bride</u>, <u>Mask of Zorro,</u>&nbsp;<u>Highlander</u>&nbsp;(there can be only one!!), <u>Pirates of the Carribbean</u>, &nbsp;and, none other than <u>Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring</u>. <br /> </span></span></big></p> <p><big><span style="font-size: small; "><span style="font-family: Verdana; ">This blog may not seem to be a place where you&rsquo;d expect homage to a master swordsman. But now in his absence, animating anything close to his work, without the master to guide you, just got infinitely harder. <br /> </span></span></big></p> <p><big><span style="font-size: small; "><span style="font-family: Verdana; ">With respect, RIP Bob Anderson. You can read a full obit in the NYT. (<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/03/movies/bob-anderson-sword-fight-choreographer-dies-at-89.html">http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/03/movies/bob-anderson-sword-fight-choreographer-dies-at-89.html</a>)<br /> </span></span></big></p> <p><big><span style="font-size: small; "><span style="font-family: Verdana; ">And here is the master at work: <a href="http://youtu.be/wRY5dl_oxvo">http://youtu.be/wRY5dl_oxvo</a></span></span></big></p> <p><img width="240" height="109" vspace="1" hspace="1" border="3" align="left" alt="" src="/userdata/fckdata/2093/2012-01-03_0052(1).png" /></p>Wed, 28 Dec 2011 19:00:00 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/chrismurray/bob_anderson_sword_master_diesProduction resources for the beginning, not the end.chrismmurray<p style="text-align: left; "><span style="font-size: medium; "><small><span style="font-family: Tahoma; "><big><img width="300" height="288" border="3" align="left" alt="" src="/userdata/fckdata/2093/AnimationMeat-small(1).png" />Its been awhile since I&rsquo;ve blogged. The last time in earnest was prior to me joining Autodesk so I&rsquo;m still shaking loose the rust a bit. In fact, its kind of like starting from scratch-- as if I&rsquo;ve never blogged before. How do I start blogging again? Where do I begin (again)?</big></span></small></span></p> <p style="text-align: left; "><span style="font-size: medium; "><small><span style="font-family: Tahoma; "><big>These questions reminded me to take the same approach to this endeavor as I would a CG project. Follow a plan. </big></span></small></span></p> <p style="text-align: left; "><span style="font-size: medium; "><small><span style="font-family: Tahoma; "><big>In production, there are several ways to do any one single thing, but ultimately, all successful projects work a plan. (some better than others!)</big></span></small></span></p> <blockquote> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: left; "><span style="font-size: medium; "><small><span style="font-family: Tahoma; "><big>So I figured this would be a good place to start to serve you, my reader. </big></span></small></span></p> <p style="text-align: left; "><span style="font-size: medium; "><small><span style="font-family: Tahoma; "><big>In the spirit of beginning new projects, I want to introduce you a great resource for all things animation: <a href="http://www.animationmeat.com">www.animationmeat.com</a>. </big></span></small></span></p> <p style="text-align: left; "><span style="font-size: medium; "><small><span style="font-family: Tahoma; "><big>The site may not be filled with pretty pictures, but I assure you that its what under hte hood that matters here. The majority of these things are not necessarily specifically for CG either. But the principles of animation are sound methods and processes regardless of the final media. There are a couple of things I will be exploring more specifically from this site. There are several significant animation gems here. Poke around and see what you can find. You won&rsquo;t be disappointed.</big></span></small></span></p> <p style="text-align: left; "><span style="font-size: small; "><span style="font-family: Tahoma; "><big>By the way, are you following me on twitter? <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/chrismmurray">@chrismmurray</a></big></span></span></p> <p style="text-align: left; ">Coming up next.... AU2011 recap from my HDR acquisition class...</p>Tue, 06 Dec 2011 19:00:00 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/chrismurray/production_resources_for_the_beginning_not_the_end3dsMax Guilty Pleasureschrismmurray<p>&nbsp;&quot;Dear Chris, great news! you're doing an AU class this year, we need you reach out to development and see how things are going and we're giving you a blog, Kthnxbye - Shawn&quot;</p> <p>Well, not exactly, but working with Shawn Hendriks can be rapid fire. Wait a minute... that last thing was new.... a blog? on the Area? OK. Roger that!&nbsp;</p> <p>And 3 weeks later, here I am. My name is Chris Murray and I will be writing about 3dsMax of course but hopefully so much more.&nbsp;</p> <p>I chose the name &quot;MaxNation&quot; because I think one of the things that makes 3dsMax so great is not us-- the great mother ship that is Autodesk, but you-- the great customer, artist and product fan. I hope to use this blog to shine the light on you. I want to hear from you. I want to talk about you. Maybe, just maybe we will squeak in 3dsMax (duh! of course we will!)</p> <p>The good news is that I have blogged before. Once I joined Autodesk in 2008 I kind of shut it down to focus on my new job as Technical Marketing Specialist. If you want ot see who you'll be reading you can check it out here: <a href="http://3dguru.wordpress.com/">3dguru.wordpress.com/</a>&nbsp;</p> <p>Eventually you will learn about me, But as this is my first blog posting and not only am I a 'Desker but I am also an ardent fan of the software, I thought I would start by sharing you some my guilty pleasures surrounding 3dsMax. I'm posting this video from the Area I created for SIGGRAPH 2011. You actually get to see me and hear me. A fitting introduction I think. Soon I will writing more stories about you-- and your guilty pleasures in 3dsMax. Until then...See you round.</p> <p>Oh!! Besides this Blog, please feel free to connect with me on twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/chrismmurray">@chrismmurray</a></p> <p>Now on with the show....</p> <p><a onclick="window.open(this.href,'MeetChrisMurray','resizable=yes,location=no,menubar=no,scrollbars=no,status=no,toolbar=no,fullscreen=no,dependent=no,status'); return false" href="http://area.autodesk.com/siggraph2011/demos/chrismurray?KeepThis=true&amp;#ooid=dwMnRwMjqiwALqkyS96KrGEZ04hAulN6">area.autodesk.com/siggraph2011/demos/chrismurray</a></p>Mon, 07 Nov 2011 19:00:00 UTChttp://area.autodesk.com/blogs/chrismurray/3dsmax_guilty_pleasures