Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas

Here you go, I made a card to celebrate the season.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

CYMATICS: Science Vs Music

This is outstanding, reality is manipulated with precision using finely tuned stimuli. Musician Nigel Stanford enlisted all manner of expertise to create this promotional video for his latest album. At one point in the film the musicians all wear protective Faraday suits while being hit by lightning generated by a Tesla coil. A perfect example of art and science at play together.

CYMATICS: Science Vs. Music - Nigel Stanford from Nigel Stanford on Vimeo.

Watch on Vimeo to see all the behind the scenes stuff.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Lightwave 2015 release, my work featured.

Yes, Lightwave 2015 was released today and so I installed the trial version to see if it's worth the upgrade price, which in my case is something over $500. During the install process I saw one of my images pop up in the install wizard, I wasn't quick enough to screen capture it this time around (one of my images was featured in the last version before this one which I posted some time ago), so here is the one they used.

I am allowed to get excited about this aren't I?  Anyway enough about me, I hope this latest release is a successful one for the Lightwave 3D Group.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Krita review 2014

For some reason in the past I was unable to install Krita (the open source paint program), but today I was able to. So having had a bit of a play with it I can give it a quick review. Having recently gotten back into illustration using Photoshop, I do have something to base my observations on.

Krita is a lot of fun. A LOT of fun. It felt so easy to draw with, I really think there is more control here. Mainly I was trying out the brushes, going through them one by one and getting a feel. I'm sure some of the sheer pleasure was on account of the stabilization and smoothing functions built into the brush engine, making my strokes seem more sure and accurate. You might think this could wrench intent away from the artist, yet in my case it made up for the disadvantage of not having my pen on the screen but on a separate tablet, perhaps not removing that disadvantage entirely but definitely closing the gap (people who use "pen to screen" tablets might not have this problem). I was able to draw what I wanted on the first takes rather than using lots of practice runs and I do put this down to the stabilization since I can't think of any other reason.

There is a good selection of brush types and it seems you can create your own, no doubt there are presets out there from other users, this is important because the thing that is going to keep me using Photoshop is the fantastic library of brush presets I recently bought. In Krita the canvas rotation is better implemented, or more easily activated than Photoshop's and this helps bring the experience closer to that of having a real piece of paper in front of you, moving it quickly around to best suit the type of strokes you intend to make. Even the funky layer system quickly lost it's alien appearance and became familiar to me. I'm writing this review after having spent less than thirty minutes in Krita, and I'm winding it up because I want to fire it up again and explore further. Worth the download, go get it.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Smith Micro added me to their channel.

Just found a bunch of my videos were added to the Smith Micro VIMEO channel, I didn't even know they had a channel. So I spent a bit of time watching several videos there. I really need to upgrade to version 10 and do more 2D animation.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Getting back into drawing.

I've been too long in the field of 3D animation and motion graphics and decided it was time to make use of my Bamboo tablet, I knew I bought it for something. After a frustrating search around the room I finally found it hiding in plain sight under a layer of dust. Here are some of the first things I've done with it.

 A couple of days and I suddenly have this new interest. It can take months to turn out anything decent in 3D or motion graphics, because of all the problem solving involved, but with illustration you get speed, it's just you and the pen, I'd forgotten all about that. I discovered a bunch of excellent Photoshop brushes (they deserve their own post), very cheap for a huge variety and I'm having a blast trying them out.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

This Machine Thinks - Goto80

Here's one of my own animations for a change, I just uploaded it. It started as an experiment in making boxes from solids in After Effects and went on from there.

This Machine Thinks_Goto80 from djwaterman on Vimeo.

The music (as attributed) was found at this place, and a handy box roll rigging lesson discovered over at the School of Motion, I don't think this video would've been possible without it.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Everyday Robots. ZSpheres and the power of time re-mapping.

Here's an interesting video that uses the screen-record format in an artsy way, keeping the beats with the use of time re-mapping.

In case it's not obvious (and to some it might not be), this is a head being sculpted in ZBrush and screen recorded, with the footage then being sped up and edited to keep in time with the music. A simple idea.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Another Mike Scott Animation.

I figured that this is about as good as anything else out there with regards motion and sound, plus it sort of continues the South African thing I had going with the Die Antwoord clips.

Goldfish - Soundtracks and Comebacks from Mike Scott on Vimeo.

I mean it's not even new or anything, but good is good and I want to be able to watch it when ever I like so that's the other reason for posting it.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Some Kinetic Typography Fun

I finally got the last director into my "Six Directors" piece. Purely for my own enjoyment and to test out some ideas I present this short movie about movies.

Mostly After Effects, used Lightwave 3D for the Plexus look and some Anime Studio pro for hands and faces in the Lewis segment.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

New short tutorial about Instancing in Lightwave

Just took time out to document how to symmetrically instance geometry in Lightwave as explained to me by Elvis Blazencic.

I've added it to the tutorial page as well.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Just a Brother Sister Act.

Okay, this stuff is neither classic nor cool, and will probably date really fast, but they're certainly something.

To tell the truth, I'm really not up with or interested much in contemporary music anymore, because I'm like, you know, old, but every so often I chance upon things that give me an eye-full of what's going on out there.

South Africa, who knew? Some stunning  and positively evil music videos from Die Antwoord.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

NATRON and KRITA, Open Source Apps.

I've come across these two separate open source programs that deserve some attention. First there is Natron, a nodal film compositing software that closely mirrors the Foundry's Nuke. It has access to many OpenFX plugins and exists to give students a way to learn the standard compositing workflow.

The other contender is a painting program, Krita, and I'm quite enthused to give it a go and see what it offers, it has a different take in that it is not a Photoshop clone, it's something else.

Of course, as is often the case, these being free, they'll get downloaded, perhaps installed, but will they get used?

I'll let you know.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Brilliant digital masterpiece

Going by the name of Borhan this "Newbie" submitted a jawdropping piece as his first ever post on the ZBrush Central forums.

Yes it's all a sculpt, he even sculpted the dress and clothing folds for everything in the scene.

One forum member sums it up perfectly in the comments section;
"Hello, I'm a newbie and this is my first post. I'm gonna destroy your brain with my insane work and get Top Row instantly!!!" Muah ha ha ha!!!" - remcv8

You can view the actual image in full detail here.

The next coming version of ZBrush, 4R7, will be the last update until the release of ZBrush 5, in which they move over into 64 bit. The coming upgrade offers an amazing new polygon box modeling workflow that takes this sculpting software into a new place, such that you might opt to do all your hard surface modeling within ZBrush from now on. I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

More AnimeStudio work from Victor Paredes

I just wanted to post another delightfully colorful and fun piece by everyone's favorite Anime Studio Pro animator.  It has something to do with educational reforms in Chile. It's the same deceptively simple look that has become Victor's signature, although I should preface this by saying that a lot of the design work was supplied to him and he did the animation and compositing. Pretty colors, no black lines, nice.

I'm always looking for an excuse to show what this under-rated piece of software is capable of.

Friday, 25 July 2014

'Visiting'. A Work in Progress

This short film project has been in development for a while now, and the creator has just put up a website to properly document it. The subject is a small alien astronaut and his adventures on Earth, that's all we know at this stage.

As you can see, the shot design is fairly high end, it's all the work of Louis Dumont, a young London designer who works primarily in Lightwave for his 3D animation, and who has been exploring the avenues of film production with SLR cameras and custom built rigs.

Camera Rig Test from Louis du Mont on Vimeo.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Blackmagic cuts Pocket Camera Price in Half

News just in from RedShark, for a limited time you can buy the tiny Blackmagic Pocket Camera for half price. The offer ends on the 31st August, 2014.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

New Tutorial - Make Neon Text

I know I've been neglecting the blog for a bit, other projects have been occupying my time, however I did make this little screen capture tutorial to demonstrate a fairly easy method for creating neon style text.

I've been playing around with creating sub-D text, or techniques to do it easily,so I might do a future tutorial about that as well.

Friday, 11 April 2014

MyPaint for Nokia N900 Demo

This talented artist shows how even the teeniest of pen and tablet combos can be used to produce wonderful sketches and concept art.

He has also made his custom brush set available for download, it's under the video on YouTube.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Coming Soon! Sticky Paint for After Effects.

I don't know what kind of voodoo is at work here but Sticky Paint sure seems like magic to my eyes.

Coming soon to

Friday, 14 March 2014

Andrew Price interviews Beorn Leonard

If you want to spend two plus hours listening to two Australians talking about animation, this is the one to listen to. Here.

I highly recommend tuning in, it covers a lot of territory and is relevant no matter what animation software you're using.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Some new links for Motion Graphics added.

I've added some recent additions to the "'Useful Places' links on the side of the blog, they are
After Effects related sites dealing with motion graphics, so here's a quick overview of who and what they are.

'Motion Graphics X change' is a great repository of various scripts, presets, expressions and tutorials from its members. You use the search function to finds things and may end up spending  quite a bit of time just trawling around. Once you understand they way the siteworks it's a very interesting place to be.

'Batch Frame' is the work of visual effects/motion graphics artist Jesse Toul, and contains a wealth of tutorials, scripts, projects, templates and footage (for sale). he has developed an online tool called Pseudo Effects Creator, it allows you to create tidy little effects controls for your own effect presets, and he also attempts to teach some remedial code writing for beginners.

'Chris Zwar', also the work of one man is like-wise a collection of tutorials, case studies and downloadable projects. He has a long article on Keying and a lot of interesting and useful discussions about various things in and around After Effects. Check out his 'Pre-compose to layer duration' script.

'Quba HQ' is also a designer based site by Quba Michalski who works at Auto fuss in the States. It has a more magazine style aesthetic and encourages browsing and trawling. lots of stuff to discover, tutorials and presets. Go at it.

'Motionworks' is the work of John Dickinson and is sort of like Sydney's version of Greyscalegorilla. There's so much on this site that I'm dis-inclined to attempt writing about it all, I intend visiting it often since I learnt stuff there on my first visit.

'AE Enhancers' is a community based forum for expression and script writers. They often improve upon scripts amongst themselves and so it's a great place to go to see if there are any better versions of your favorites in existence.

A visit to any of these sites is likely to lead to the discovery of other web resources as well, and it's always a good thing to learn new things from professionals about After Effects.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Nudie Walk and run cycles by Felix Sputnik

 Because I've been trying to find good walk cycle reference for a personal animation project I stumbled across this and thought it worth posting. Done with Flash, actually done with talent (using Flash).

Animated walks and runs from Felix Sputnik on Vimeo.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

The Ghost Cube demo

This is why humans rule the natural world.

Visit the creator's website and continue to be mystified. They also sell a documentary about the Ghost Cube's development. It's all very minimal.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Cool new character designs in Anime Studio 10

I'm not interested in using the pre-made characters that come with Anime Studio, but these were designed with the help of Victor Paredes, whose work I've featured before. So they would be fun to examine in detail.


Anime Studio looks like a serious upgrade with many new features. I'm still learning version 9.5, and will stick with it before moving to the higher level of 10, I'm probably not quite ready yet.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Released. HDR Light Studio for Lightwave.

I was fortunate enough to be involved in the Beta testing of HDR Light Studio for Lightwave. This is a terrific integration into Lightwave's Layout, a really seamless melding into the UI and workflow.
Today is the official release date so it available right now. It really is a fresh approach to lighting things in a 3D environment, giving you the ability to create HDR image maps live, you can even re-work other image based light maps to tailor them towards a specific lighting design.

If lighting is something you really want to control, or you want art directed reflections on your subject for a specific look, you'd want to invest in this almost magic plugin. I created a couple of tutorials to demonstrate how it works.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

It's coming. Anime Studio 10

This is all I know at the moment.

Victor Paredes is involved in the development and describes it as a significant upgrade.

Pixelstick - digital light painting

Light painting with pixelstick from Bitbanger on Vimeo.

Developed through crowd funding, the official site here.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Penn & Jenison - A new type of film making.

I'm really looking forward to seeing Tim's Vermeer. This interview is fascinating for the insight it provides, plus it's entertaining to just watch intelligent people talk.

Having not seen the finished result I'm left wondering if this might be one of those films such as "The Blair Witch Project" or Greengrass's "United 93" that incorporates the technology of film making into an event, taking it along for the ride.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The Plasticine world of Allison Schulik. Or, can your computer do this?

These stop motion works by artist and dancer Allison Schulik defy imagination. A painterly quality comes out in her use of the materials, and an organic truthfulness in the living breathing quality of the animation is something that must come from her dance background. In any case, no words can describe adequately what is being done here.

Mound by Allison Schulnik from garaco taco on Vimeo.

EAGER by Allison Schulnik from garaco taco on Vimeo.

Hobo Clown from Guernica Magazine on Vimeo.

FOREST - Allison Schulnik from FIBRA on Vimeo.

Read an interview with the artist here on the Dragonframe blog.

GO PRO Felix Baumgartner jump footage comes to light.

Take a few minutes to watch this at full screen. We live in amazing times.

Found it here.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Andy Lomas and his Cellular Motions

I guess the thing to keep in mind while watching these simulated growth divisions, is that it can seem like the balls are getting smaller with each division so that the structural mass remains more or less constant, actually I suspect the balls remain constant in size and the view zooms outward with each division so that we can see the growth pattern. Anyway, from a few simple rules comes complexity, form and beauty, no art involved, no grand design, as the artist states, he just lights the fuse.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Flexible Muscle-Based Locomotion for Bipedal Creatures

Here are some tests of a thinking responsive muscle system in action, I actually have empathy for these creatures as they stumble, fall and have boxes thrown at them.

The paper is presented here. Thanks to Skype6 on the Newtek forums for posting this.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Fix your stupid TV!

This piece on the Prolost blog by Stu Maschwitz speaks rather well to the "mistakes" we are seeing made in this new digital age that I referred to in my previous post. He gets rather specific on the details of something that is a concern for anyone who still believes they love cinema.

It's in our homes and a whole new generation grows up to think it is the way things are. In fact it is just another dumb mistake by people who didn't know any better. It's all quite easily avoided if you know about it but that's the problem, most people don't.

Please read and perhaps spread it about.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Tarantino vs Lynch on Film vs Digital

Two modern masters of cinema, and two views on the biggest change to cinema  in my lifetime. First the entertaining, deeply held, glib sounding but fully considered views of Quentin Tarantino.

Next a deeply enigmatic yet compelling view from David Lynch.

I agree with both artists, but Lynch is the innovator here with Tarantino as the traditionalist. Technology has always been the main driver of culture, but that doesn't mean we must drop everything old for the new. We are at that interesting stage of the process where we're seeing a lot of mistakes being made with the new technology, some of those mistakes will actually stick and become the new standard. Lynch's 'Lighter, smaller, less crew' pragmatism can't really be argued with, yet Tarantino's 'illusion of movement' is still the very core of the cinematic experience. Currently both these two ideas can work together but with less considered minds at the helm of the digital vanguard we could easily lose the latter. By that I'm talking about the revolutionary aspect of this technology, the fact that more people can get their hands on it, spend less time learning it, and pump out product in large enough volumes to swamp the culture and become the new normal. We need to watch that.