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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Primitives in 3D Coat Tutorial

Introduction to primitives in 3D coat

Here is a free tutorial I did on using primitives in 3D Coat voxel sculpting room. It’s quite incredible how complicated shapes can be created with these when they are combined and merged with other shapes. You can also bring objects from other 3D packages to voxel room to merge and subtract with your shape. I like to have special set “cutter objects” that I use to build things like panels. Nice way to quickly create detail is to use radial symmetry.

You can use add and subtract and other blending modes. When in voxel mode the shape tries to blend into one seamless piece. Primitives can also be added when in surface mode. Think of this as like equivalent of zBrush’s dynamesh. If the result is too coarse it can be smoothed later.

It’s also nice to have things like nuts in the primitives section which are surprisingly versatile.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial. If you like, please feel free to subscribe to my Youtube channel and share these.

Some parts of this ship were modelled using primitives in 3d coat

Some parts of this ship were modelled using primitives in 3d coat

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Lightroom RAW Processing Video Tutorial

Introduction to Lightroom RAW

In this Lightroom RAW tutorial I show my most common steps to deal with RAW images in Lightroom. I like to use the Library module to put metadata to the images and sometimes also use the presets or quick edit tools (as I show in the video) for batch of images. This is quick way to correct images which are series.

I also like to flag images by hitting p in the keyboard for Pick and x for Reject. It’s nice non-destructive image to mark images, plus the rejected images become faded so that the good stuff will stand out more. (Hint, if you activate caps lock, you will automatically move to next image, so you can just keep hitting either x or p and move forward like in a slide show. Just pressing two buttons! Try it!)

Develop module

Lightroom RAW Image Processing settings

Some of the Lightroom RAW Image Processing settings.

Develop module has similar controls to Camera Raw in Photoshop. You get to adjust Exposure, Tone Curve and Clarity, Vibrance and Saturation settings. Being subtle is the key when adjusting these settings because relatively small adjustments can make a big impact to the image. Same goes for sharpness, I don’t usually like to do it too much here. I rather sharp during export.

Noise reduction is a big feature of Lightroom. It can really reduce noise quite significantly. It’s good to test the settings and see what is best result. I usually like to be aggressive with the color slider which controls the colour noise reduction, but I’m rather moderate with the main noise reduction slider.

There’s also a setting for Lens Corrections which is very nice, it automatically detects the lens you use and comes pre-loaded for presets for each lenses. I forgot to mention about chromatic aberration removal in this window, its very effective way to get rid of the purple fringe.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial. Please subscribe to my channel and feel free to share my tutorials in social media.

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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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Possible Issues with Concave Polygons in 3D Modeling

I made this video about possible issues with concave polygons in 3D modeling.

Concave Polygons in 3D Modeling

I had this issue with a knife model that I made before for games. One of the quads was kind of shaped like triangle and I didn’t notice. The model itself was pretty well optimised, there was no ngons whatsoever, and all was well. But this one anarchist poly just kept flipping about in 3Ds Max.

concave polygons in 3d modeling

Convex and concave (non-convex) polygons and a quad shaped like tri.

Now I know there are those who know much more about geometry in mathematics than me and I’m quite sure I will get some serious feedback. However, what my question really is is this; if you imagine a quad that is shaped like triangle, that one of the sides is actually two sides that share the same angle, is this convex or concave? Especially I’m interested about this from the perspective of a 3D modelling application. Max seems to think about this differently than other apps.

Now, it’s possible to use concave polygons even in final render. I have sometimes used it and even the letters in the flat 3D plane text that’s visible in the video is basically just that. (and the question mark has this actual issue!) But having extreme concave polygons can be a huge pain to deal with in render time.

None of this really matters if you are dealing with subD cage mesh, those meshes can and will get pretty wild and that’s just, well normal, anyway the mesh is subdivided and it’s nothing but a cage mesh after all. And as William Vaughan described in his wonderful tutorial series, four sided triangle can be a great way to optimise sub-D meshes.

concave polygons in 3D modeling

Quad that is shaped like a tri. Is this convex or non-convex polygon?

However it’s best to avoid non-convex polygons in traditional meshes.

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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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