From ZBrush Summit: ZBrush 4R8 Revealed

Oh boy seeing news of ZBrush 4R8, my excitement level is over 900%. Owners of ZBrush 4 got one more free update, 4R8.

Being so long time ZBrush user and having used it from the early 4 version, I feel like I’m on luxury yacht with Pixologic’s software with these free major updates. This is one investment that has truly paid off, to say the least.

Basically why ZBrush 4R8 is happening seems to be that Pixologic wants to give out the features in Core for us ZBrush owners before Core is released. This is very nice. According to Pixologic some of these new features include those that would have been (and will be) in ZBrush 5.

zBrush prop modeling

a prop being modelled using zBrush sculpting tools

This version of ZBrush will get the new transform gizmos and ability to create one’s own gizmos, also localisation to several languages.

Biggest thing for me personally are introduction of vector displacement maps (3D displacement maps). New version can c0nvert any mesh to these 3D maps and these can be used with brushes kind of like 3D alphas.

There’s also new real-time Boolean system which appears to be basically just a render effect, but one can convert or create mesh by using Make Union Mesh.

I am also very interested how well this will take advantage of larger memory via 64 bit support. We’ll have to see how this will be, it seems Core will be only 64 bit. I have been occasionally using 64 bit version of 4R7 for meshes that required a lot of memory, but the experience has not been always completely, ehm. stable. I wish that 4R8 would be more stable and truly 64 bit.

At this time Pixologic has not provided us a date when ZBrush 4R8 will be out, but I would guess before end of October.

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100 Subscribers; Thanks!

I crossed the 100 subscriber line yesterday. Really, thanks everyone who subscribed.  Subscriber amount isn’t the reason why I do this but it feels nice that someone is watching and liking what I do. But no matter how many subscribers or likes there is going to be, I don’t think that the thing what I do will change.

I hope to see you soon.

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Don’t forget to BACKUP (VLOG)

Here are some thoughts about importance of having a backup. Digital data is so fragile because once it’s gone, it really is, and there’s no way to get it back. I had a bit of issue with my WordPress site yesterday because I ended up making a mistake and overwriting the data. I was able to recover from a backup but this really reminded me how important it is to have one.

I recommend to have automated solution such as Time Machine, which doesn’t require user intervention. Just remember to verify the backup every now and then to make sure it is safe.

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Data Matters, Vaultpress

Since this blog is so important to me, I decided to invest into Vaultpress backup plan. I had my own home-brew system in place but it is cumbersome and restoring a backup is very slow since it basically depends on moving files via SFTP, and is really quite a hassle to recover.

I had a bit of a glitch today with the site and this was offline for couple of hours during the most important business hours. Granted this glitch was my own fault, I kind of accidentally managed to overwrite data. The worst thing that can happen to a data basically is to be overwritten. Luckily I could recover from my backup, but thought, oh, why have I not made a better backup plan.

What Vaultpress promises is a real peace of mind, plus they also scan the site for security threats, and even throw Akismet key on top. For 9 dollars it isn’t too much I feel, and now I can just fully concentrate making content.

Basically, streamlining everything including the production schedule is always something to think about. We should be able to focus in creating new content and have peaceful rest in between. This is the ideal state of matters. So I think jerryrigging a backup solution might not be something I am interested in doing.

Anyway, setting up Vaultpress was straightforward and fast, so far I have a very good experience with them. I will report more later.

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zBrush Summit 2016 and thoughts on zBrush

Are you going to join 2016 zBrush summit? I can’t make it to LA, but I’ll be there virtually. I’m mostly curious about zBrush Core. Is this a lower cost alternative to the full zBrush or something completely different?

I have been extremely glad about my zBrush 4 investment. It’s been so many years since I bought it and there have been so many upgrades that have been completely free for me. And now there is even 64 bit version. Seeing the difference from the version that came in the cool Anniversary edition metal box is quite something. It feels like I have been part of this software’s development.

zBrush prop modeling

a prop being modelled using zBrush sculpting tools

If you are a sculptor or someone who comes from traditional art school, zBrush is definitely a worth to check out, even though recent versions of 3D Coat gives it run for it’s money . It all comes down to the very 3D sculpting tools built into zBrush that just are the best thing there is at the moment.

You can stream summit in http://pixologic.com

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Apogee Element

Apogee Element introduced

Apogee Element Series Thunderbolt was just introduced for mac with multiple inputs and outputs.

I love Apogee products. Especially my Apogee One for iPhone and Mac. Its the best audio interface I have ever owned what comes to sound quality. According to their announcement they have featured some of the best A/D and D/A converters so far. This got to sound good. They also have a solid looking clock source aboard to sync the AD/DA process.

The devices look solid and cool as ever. Apogee website says “Built like a beast. Not like a beauty”. But I think their design is quite beautiful and simple.

Element has has full Logic Pro integration and iOS controllers as well as the dedicated control remote.

Entry level model Element 24 starts $595 while the high end Apogee Element 88 is $1495. Even the entry level model has professional features like Word Clock IN/OUT via BNC connections for syncing. Like Apogee One, even this one rocks mighty.

What do you think of Apogee Element? Please feel free to comment below.

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Do you remember how Apple was like?

Oh gosh I miss Steve. Can you remember when did they release a new laptop and did it from this level of dedication and passion for pro users? Don’t even get me started about the state of the Mac Pro.. Oh boy.

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Daily Show

I have been doing daily videos to Youtube now for two weeks. It’s been quite a fun experience and I really love all the feedback I have got. It’s amazing to think that even in such a short period if time, I am nearing 100 subscribers and such a huge number of views. And what I have seen from the comments of other channels, I think I’ve got the nicest folks in Youtube.

This is exactly what I wished, a place where I could discuss what I am most passionate about, 3D graphics, music and creative software. I wish that someone out there could find something I do useful.

My original idea was that I would do a special show in Fridays, something that stands out a bit different. I am still working on this and trying to find how I can do it so that I can still have time to do other things, such as keep writing this blog and my work too. I don’t want my channel to become 3D graphics tutorial channel only. Well, it can be that and also a lot more.

CG movies are one thing that I would like to review, even though there are not very many of them these days that are very interesting. Paths of Hate is one of the recent things that comes to mind.

I love Sky Crawlers and the production method of that film, especially that the environment is realistic style but the characters are cell shaded. I just love Mamoru Oshii, especially Jinroh and Avalon. His mood is so captivating and always sentimental.. I got chance to talk with Kenji Kawai the composer that made soundtracks to his films, we used to chat. Mamoru Oshii is so original and weird in fantastic ways.

From Pixar stuff I like Up and Incredibles. I got chance to participate Pixar seminar in Tokyo couple of years back. It was quite interesting to hear about making of Up as it just came out. Did you know that they actually calculated how many balloons it would take to lift entire house? Well, that’s Pixar. I am not huge fan of all of their films, but I do respect their history in 3D CG and the kind of pioneering spirit they had back in the early days, if you are passionate about 3D you got to know John Lasseter.

As I’m writing this I’m finishing my first Lightroom tutorial on how to process RAW images in there. I hope you will enjoy it and I’ll see you soon. I hope I’ll see you this Friday.

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Homemade Snoot from Pringles’ Box Video

Youtube Kondrad Dwojak describes a trick how to make snoot (a device, a flash modifier which focuses flash to work more like a spotlight) from a Pringles’ Box.

When you get deeper into photography and if you want to use second flash to add a bit of a kick to your photography, things like these will come handy. I recommend also other videos of Kondrad Dwojak. He also uses Pixelmator for product photography post processing.

What do you think about homemade snoot from Pringles’ box? Have you ever made one? Please comment below.

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