May 2013 28

I’ve been asked to take down my personal review of the course, so if you have any questions feel free to email me directly, I’ll be glad to answer them for you.


Dec 2012 05

Had a few people wondering how I created the simulation for the above scene from Cerebus Film, so I sat done a recorded a demo of the process.

I go through the scene setup, particle creation, fields, instancer, nmesh / ncloth, caching, and sticky particle emission and goal instancing, to create a scene where a character is bursting through some hedges with dynamic leaves and vines.

The recording is very loose, I did it in one take without prior planning. I apologies for the loose quality, but I think there are still some good tips and advise in there when dealing with particles, instancer , ncloth and stick nparticles.

Part 1 – http://youtu.be/K9ZXP9EesbY
Part 2 –  http://youtu.be/e-jM31L0ci0
Part 3 –  http://youtu.be/-amls_TJy0o

Looks like my tutorial made it onto one of my favourite CG blogs “lesterbanks.com“., thanks Lester!

May 2012 09

Found this great and currently free app called meshLab for IOS that lets you import your models and view them on the ipad in a interactive method that includes, rotation, zoom in , zoom out and 1 interactive directional light with self shadow. The apps lets you import and view a wide range of 3d formats like OBJ, STL, OFF, PLY.
This is a great find as I can import reference anatomy models and also show off my own sculpts! For a test I imported my Ninja crap sculpt in STL format which was roughly 500K tris and the app handled it fine. Really happy I found this app, definitely worth checking out if you want a fast and easy way to shop off your models.



Jun 2011 29

Posting here for those that are interested in learning VFX at Escape or Gnomon Workshop, I posted this question on Escape’s facebook page as I’m thinking about studying at one of these colleges;

John Chen posted to Escape Studios

So, I’m sure a lot of prospective students are thinking about this question, but too scared to ask.

– What sets Escape Studio LA apart from Gnomon School of Visual Effects? and why should we choose to goto Escape, over a more established school such as Gnomon?

I’m just curious, don’t want to step on anyone’s toes. 🙂

And received a response from Escape
Hi John

Thanks very much for your comment, and no need to worry about asking such questions. As you say, many people may well be asking the same thing, and it’s important that you ask as many questions as possible before choosing which school and course to pursue.

In many ways Gnomon and Escape are very similar; we are both private post secondary schools, who offer custom built courses rather than diplomas or degrees, although I believe Gnomon do offer a degree program now. We both use industry experts to teach our courses and have strong connections with the industry. What makes Escape different is our curriculum, and specific focus on production based skills and professional pipelines, with a very strong emphasis towards visual effects. Through the help of an extremely experienced advisory board we can match our courses exactly with the requirements of the industry, in the areas of CG asset creation, camera tracking, advanced lighting and rendering, compositing and technical effects. All training is based around technical knowledge and professional execution. We don’t go into the more art based subjects that Gnomon and other schools teach, such as character design and concept art, because we want to ensure you have the exact skills required to secure a junior visual effects job. Courses are delivered like a production assignment, in short and intensive sessions, and your instructor is present throughout to ensure you always have top level assistance. It’s all about making sure you can walk straight into a production environment and thrive, and so many of our students have and continue to.

To add to this, we have a dedicated recruitment team working solely towards helping you secure your first position in the industry. We provide demo reel and CV advice, and regularly arrange for leading companies to mentor courses and provide feedback on your work throughout. This all helps to ensure you get the best possible chance to land a junior position, and we believe our recruitment services are second to none. Our aim is not to make you a better artist, but to make you a professional.

Am I right in thinking you are based in Australia? We have courses both in classroom and online and either myself or my colleagues in the UK would be more than happy to give you a call to chat further if you wish? My direct email is joseph@escapestudios.com, please feel free to drop me a line at any time, and I hope my response was helpful 🙂

Admissions Advisor (Escape LA)

There you have it, quiet a nice answer 🙂
Jun 2011 29

Here are some good resources to learn about creating light fogs in Maya,

I’ve only been using the standard light fog function with a spot light, but will be testing the mental ray method shortly, as it seems to produce much more realistic results.

Light Rays In Maya & MentalRay – ( using env par ) http://vimeo.com/18319188
Create light fog using mental ray for Maya sample workflow – Link using mib_light_spot
Light Fog – ye old faithful method but with better results by controlling coneshape’s volume samples and using mental ray depth map overides – http://vimeo.com/15009370

tick “auto volume” in mental ray render features.

Using Parti_volume method – http://cgnotebook.com/wiki/Mental_ray_for_Maya_parti_volume and http://cgnotebook.com/wiki/Mental_ray_volumetric_shadows_with_parti_volume_in_Maya

discussion on parti_voume – http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=87&t=812857

Nice tut on environment fog with parti_volume = http://www.andrewklein.net/bh/texturing_fog.html

Jun 2011 27

I’m happy to announce my short Sci-fi horror film “Anomaly” is finished!

The next step will be to enter a few festivals with it so depending on the entry conditions I might not be able to show the complete film until than. But we are planning a private screening in August, hope you will be able to make it!

In the mean time, I will be cutting a short trailer and uploading a few more photos from Anomaly as part of the press pack, this is the latest poster featuring our beloved demon hellspawn.

If you haven’t already check out the facebook page for Anomaly, where release and screening details will be posted.

Thank you to all my friends for their support the last 6 months!

Anomaly Creature Poster promo

Anomaly Creature Poster promo

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