Create a sci-fi image in one hour, and why I could do it.

This week I was browsing the web when I fell on an image that struck me. As usual the image was downloaded and put in my “inspiration” folder, a place where there are all sort of stuff that must be checked back later , either to analyze, study from, get inspired or maybe try to recreate a similar atmosphere or effect depicted in that image. The image can be found here : www.connector3d.com (made by moth3r.com)

So yesterday I had some free time and I wanted to redo this strong contrasted image, of a pure white light illuminating a kind of spaceship dock or bay. Here is the image that took me around one hour to create (not counting rendering 20mins)

greeble_test2

As you can see this is fairly detailed and that is the point I want to focus on today :reusing pre-modeled greebles freely available.

Here is the quick process creating this image :

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 19.30.08First I block some basic shapes (very classic in itself, the aim of exercise was more of lighting). I could have gone more hexagonal, or with stronger silhouette.

Then I remembered having seen some pretty good greeble blend swap file.  Here is the file (http://www.blendswap.com/blends/view/45973), and once again it is done by Kuhnindustries, who is an amazing modeler!

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 19.31.51

I do believe those kind of blendswaps are the most useful ones. Small elements that you can reuse and assemble in a bigger set/model/scene, just like Lego bricks. If you know of some other ones feel free to comment below, I will add them here

So again thanks Kuhnindustries for all your models! If you ever meet me, you get a few free drinks :-)

p.s. Someone on Twitter rightfully mentionned that this image has no real Point of Interest. In fact the original image had some text in the center, so here is an updated version, with something to look at :-)

greeble_test2_poi

Blender Meeting – SwissBUG @ Lausanne Apr 25th

Hello Blenderheads!

(Version française : http://www.kopilot.ch/blender-blog-swiss-bug-lausanne-april-2015/ )

We are pleased to announce a new gathering of Swiss Blender Users.

Blog_Blender_BUG_2015_Final

Let’s meet April 25th at 14h.

The location is again in Lausanne, to be more precise in Renens in the conference room of the Ateliers de la Ville de Renens. It is at the same place than our friend Thierry from Kopilot (check www.kopilot.ch, awesome tutorials!)

Here is the schedule:

  • 14h00 – Welcome and get to know each other
  • 15h00 – Camera Tracking and 3D integration Demo
    Presented by Greg Michoud www.gregdesign.ch and Olivier Amrein www.olivieramrein.com
  • 16h30 – Questions and remarks
  • 17h30 – Show your artwork, projects and apéro time :)
  • around 20h – Food time

You can find more informations including phone number and location address here : www.7media.ch/contact

Take your laptops, mouse, wifi provided.

See you soon!

New Demoreel ! + Blender conference

Amid all the work and family, plus a new personal project (more on this mystery project later on this blog), I got some time to slightly update my demoreel.

The last weekend of october is the Blender Conference in Amsterdam. It is always a great time to blend and meet friends. Hope to see you there. If you will be there, make sure to contact me.

I will be presenting again, something fun, something secret, something easy, something difficult, something unknown, something red, something problematic… It will be all these at the same time !! Stay tuned

Default Cube challenge

Mike Pan is a 3d artist from Vancouver, Canada. He does great art, great books and if you don’t know him yet, you should (visit his website now).
Apart from the previously mentionned talents, he is also a creative self-challenging person.

DefaultCubisme??
For his latest project “DefaultCubisme” he decide every day for 30 days to create an artwork based on the default blender Cube… yes the one you get when you start. You can add modifiers,  arrays, move cams, add light, helper curves, but you can NOT modify those 8 vertices, no sculpting or other “modelling” (complete guidelines here)
I have been following his progress on twitter and on his blog, and I have been amazed at all the possibilities. Just check the provided blend file to see how the magic happens.
To be limited by the number of modelling tools, one has to find workarounds, or “hack” tools from their normal use. One can end up with 10+ modifiers on the base cube. So I wanted to try too :-)

Here is my attempt at it :

Default Cubism #1

Default Cubism #1

And here is the blend file for the scene (try it and enter Edit Mode):

 https://www.dropbox.com/s/7shzjeyhrlyntuj/defaultcube05.blend

A few modifiers, particles, blender internal with freestyle and some compositing tricks for background. Fun!

Now try it too!!!

It’s really a great way to learn new stuff because you often dont have a goal, you just start the cube, add stuff, turn in circle for a few minutes and suddenly see a shape or composition come out.

I can only suggest you to try it…

Kids are finally asleep, kitchen is clean, put your favorite relaxing tune, sit back,  launch blender, and start playing. You will be surprised by what happens next!

 

Default Cubism #2

Default Cubism #2 other view

Default Cubism #3

Default Cubism #3

 

A journey through Architecture and Openworked Creations

Finally there is some interesting commercial project worth mentioning on the blog : “A journey through Architecture and Openworked Creations” , for swiss watch manufacturer Vacheron Constantin .

4images

Openworked technique known in french as “skeleton” , is the art of opening the watch movement so that one can see through it.

here is the movie :

We had to create 3 different 3D universes, each inspired by one of the watch models. Elements of inspiration include shapes, curves and the gravure patterns.

Rendered in cycles (600 samples) on 2 PC. One with Nvidia GTX 690 and the other with GTX 660. Each frame took an average of 15 minutes to render with a maximum of 31 minutes ( when the train passes very close and generates lot of motion blur on the first scene (train station)).

Golden smoke particles are Particular in after effects, we also used Bartek Skorupa’s awesome script for importing blender cameras inside AE . Thanks man! This movie was made at RGBprod.

here is a gallery of some making-of images  :

train and locomotive based on great CC models by  KuhnIndustries and seavenois. Thanks guys

Nearly a year + 5min tutorial

Oh yes…. I thought I’d post something just before nov 17th… So nobody can blame me for not writing on this blog for over a year…
Still it’s very lame from me… but I have excuses …
And no there is absolutely no excuses for letting a blog die !!
Nevertheless we had the pleasure to have a second cool baby (A warm Hello to the handsome Louis that will maybe read me in 10 years from the future !) and thus did a bit less 3D work, more 2D , editing etc…

But now I’m back on track. And it starts with a new 5 minutes tutorial.

I love the 5 min tutorial format. It’s fast and effective… It is also more suited for intermediate/upper users, as it does not allow the time to explain all operations in detail, but draft out general ideas of a specific technique or trick. Fell free to ask for help in the comments.

And lastly, I am working on a nice 3d animation project at RGBprod studio… more to be unveiled at end of january.

Thanks

Spike the mouse – Shortfilm

Hello mouse lovers!
Today’s blogpost is one about a lovely clever animal: the mouse.  And especially about one called Spike.  He is the hero of our 3d movie that we produced during our sparetime this summer.

introducing: Spike

The competition
It was part of a competition called Golden Velvet (link FR/DE only) organized by the Swiss Textile federation. On first step (april 2012) teams were invited to send in a short synopsis on a A4 paper. All medias and styles allowed (doc, fiction, anim, stopmo, shooting, papercut etc…) We had to chose one of 6 themes provided. Actually more than themes, it was 6 technological innovation of the Swiss Textile Industry. So at end of May a total of 12 teams were chosen to get a small production funding and start the actual production. Our theme was “schock-absorbant rope” and we had to deliver the movie at the end of august.

The result
Well it seems the jury liked the story as we finished 2nd of the competition :-)

You can see all the other movies on this page. There are some really good ones (much better than Spike in fact…)

Here is a quick-dirty comp of Spike with the trophy :)

Cycles rendering!

Very early in the project I decided to render using Cycles. It was a challenge to self, plus a good opportunity to learn the tool on a production level. So was cycle worth? Yes!  and even more now that all the mango optimizations are in. First of all cycles and viewport render allows instant feedback, which is more than great for lighting. Secondly it needs some time to optimize renders ( more on this on a later post). We had a tight schedule (too many scenes) and I only had 2 computers (with each a gtx 560 ), so basically if we wanted to finish the movie and its 6000+ frames the rendertime per frame had to be at around 1 minute. Some too noisy scenes were allowed to 2 mins. Oh yes, don’t even think of rendering on a non-gpu computer.

As a render farm/management I used brender, little software I created with Francesco Siddi 

Auto-critic.
Coming back from 3 weeks in China with my wife and daughter I thought it would be interesting to make an auto-critic of myself and the movie :)
Many details and problems are still present and animation is often not smooth or polished. It was nevertheless a real challenge to finish the movie on time for the deadline. Most of the animations are a one pass work. No refining, or minimal only. If I had only one mistake to point out is that the movie is too long. We had too many shots. Shorter movie would have allowed us way more time to add details, refine characters (yes Mr. Cat I am looking at you), and perfect the animation.
At one point I was really wanting to redo the most ugly anims, re-render the flickering and noisy scenes (now that I could have infinite time/no deadline), but I thought NO. It was made like this, delivered on a deadline, it is all part of the movie. In 10 years when I’ll show it to my daughter (who inbeetween will be making 5 times better movies in 10 times less time on her iPad 9 HD) there will be stories and explanations to be told :-)

The final movie:

Credits go to :
Character/Set design + rendering + animation : Olivier Amrein
Animation : Andres Bajares
Director+Editing : Luc Walpoth
Sound: Bruce Wuilloud

a making-of might follow if it rains a lot and next sundays are like today: quiet at home.



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