#BCON17, DAC-FRA, another 20 VJ loops and a monkey called Suzanne

A few months ago I wrote about all the upcoming events and now it's time to look back and reflect.

Starting with DAC-FRA, I had a great time attending and meeting everyone. It was a really fun conference in terms of just hanging out and talking about everyone's art. Adding on to that, the titles I designed for them were received really well. (More on that in just a second.)
I was happy with how my talk went, which was recorded and has since been posted on YouTube.

Fast forward almost two months and I'm in front of an audience at the Blender Conference for another talk. This time the focus is just on DAZE as I accomplished what I set out to do by creating 60 unique VJ loops for the event. Even with a few presentation issues I think the talk went well and my point came across.

suzanne.jpg

On top of that, I even won a Suzanne award for Best Design with the DAC-FRA titles. I didn't expect this to happen at all, as I was already blown away by getting nominated in the first place. Therefore, I'm extending a big thanks to everyone who voted for me, I'm super stoked to receive the award! If you're interested in how I created them, there's also an archived livestream available where I explain some of the more interesting parts of the production.

So what's next?

Well, the next 20 VJ loops are now publicly available for download.
As before, they're all licensed under a public domain (CC0) license so you're free to use them how you want.
Credit is always welcome, but not necessary, as I want people to be able to use them for anything.

DAZE is coming up in a week, so there's one last push to be done to get the word out to more people. That being said, I'm ready to go and think it will be an awesome party!

Free Landscape Pack, UI Designs & Blender Motion Graphics Update

Blender files for these shots are also included! :)

Another big update this time, as it's been a busy few months.

First off, check out this free landscape pack I created!
It's licensed under the public domain, so you can use it however you want. All of the texture sets are 8K resolution and include displacement maps, flow masks, height masks, normal maps and more. All of them were created using World Machine and the source files are also available. That way you can generate endless variations yourself if you have World Machine!

There's also fairly high resolution meshes included in OBJ format, as well as nine example blender files to take a look at. There's also an included PDF overview and a quick start video to get you rolling quickly.

So why did I license this CC0? Well, to be honest, I'd rather people use these and be happy with some free stuff, than try and monetize all of this. I created all of them in my free time exploring World Machine and just wanted to share it without limitations. Of course, if you end up using them and want to send me a link to the result, I'll be more than happy to check it out! ;)

You can download it in a variety of ways, as the full pack with all the content is about 5GB. I understand that not everyone can easily transfer this amount of data, so here's all you options:

  • Download the full pack with everything included. (5GB)
  • Download just the textures and meshes. (3GB)
  • Browse for individual files.

All of this can be found on the Resources page of the site. (DOWNLOAD LINK)


Download this scene and more!

Download this scene and more!

A few weeks ago, I ended up creating a few UI designs (like the one shown) which are available as a free download from the Blender Cloud. After creating one for the Blender Motion Graphics series, I caught the UI / Hologram bug a little and had some fun. So be sure to check those out as well!

There's 5 available right now, and I might add more in the future if / when I end up creating them.

Speaking of the Motion Graphics training, it was an absolute pleasure working with everyone over at the Blender Institute, and I want to thank them again for giving me the chance. I'm very pleased with the end result and I hope I can help some people along with the variety of content included.

It was definitely an interesting experience doing many short videos, rather than just one long YouTube tutorial and I learned a lot from it too. All the feedback I've received is very welcome as well and for that I thank everyone who commented. :)

Over on YouTube, the WEIRD SH!T series has slowly continued as well and we're already up to episode 5! More Workflow Logs have been added too and I should be able to get back to recording more of them soon.

36 Days of Type on OpenCL & Blender Motion Graphics

So it's that time of year again! :) The 36 Days of Type are starting on the 21st of February and I fully intend to take apart again this year. Keep an eye out on my Instagram page once it gets started.

This year though, I wanted to set myself more of a challenge. As with last year, once I'm done the files will be made open to everyone after I clean them up a bit.
The big difference is that I'll be limiting myself somewhat by only using the OpenCL implementation of Cycles. This means I'll be missing some of the usual tricks and workflows I use.

So why do this? In the past, I've noticed that by limiting myself I tend to get more creative in the way I solve problems, whether that's in 3D or real life. By constraining what I can and can't use I'll have to re-think some of the techniques I use a lot (and sometimes overuse).
Add to that the fact that I'm a hardware nerd and want to see what a pair of AMD RX480's can do when it comes to Cycles. All of the HDR's and / or textures will be grabbed from the Blender Cloud so I can share all of the files in their original state. If you're a Blender Cloud subscriber and haven't tried the addon, I highly recommend having a look at it!


Then... Blender Motion Graphics?!
I recently visited the Blender Institute to discuss and finalize a course that I'll be creating in the next 6 weeks for the Blender Cloud that's all about... You guessed it, motion graphics in Blender.

The course will focus on a small project that I'll break down from start to finish, talking not only about the techniques used, but also the general workflow behind it. I find this approach to a course more interesting as it gives more insight on how to actually start a project and follow through with it until the end.

This will all be made available exclusively on the Blender Cloud once it's finished and is currently planned for release at the end of March. So be sure to check it out in a few weeks if you're interested.

3D People Meetup (16 Feb. 2017)

We're doing a small meetup event on the 16th of February here in Antwerp. This is a re-imagination of the Max User Group I attended over the last few years hosted by Johan of belly.be.

This time around though, we're focusing less on the software and more on the people. Which is why we decided to invite everyone who's interested to come and have a drink in the Little Brewers Winter Garden.

We both noticed how much fun it was after the speakers were done at MUG just having a drink and talking about all the different things people are doing. So we decided to resurrect this a little but focus the drinks and the banter in the first place.

Where MUG focused mainly on 3ds Max at the time, there's no software theme this time around. Any 3D artist, animator, compositor, vfx artist, archviz master or even student is more than welcome to come and hang out from 20:00 onwards.

To keep things organized we ask you to register for the event, which you can do HERE for free. This way we can get an idea of how many people are coming.

See you there!

End User Event 2014

Just wanted to make a quick post about EUE 2014. I'll be traveling there  in a few hours, so if you'd like to talk to me at the event I'll be around!

If you haven't heard about End User Event, it's a two-day event for 3ds Max enthusiasts in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Great fun, and it's held in a pub. Check out the website for more info.

Oh and one other thing, a render of a tree. :) (More on that soon)

Optimizing Vray for maximum render speed & quality

Check out this great article on optimizing Vray by Akin Bilgic. It goes very deep into explaining how and why your Vray scenes should be optimized. As someone who uses the "Universal Method" (as described in the article and Vray's help) a lot, it's nice to have a comprehensive guide to deeper optimization.

I've done a little bit of testing myself and have seen the improvements this way of working can deliver. The extra bit of attention to your settings can really make your scene look great. Even more advantages show up when using render elements for compositing. The elements are less noisy, so you can colour correct them even more without too much visible noise appearing in the final plate.

Combining the information in this article with the information in "Demystifying the Vray DMC Sampler" (by Toni Bratincevic) is a great way to get deeper into the inner workings of Vray and getting the most out of it.

Image © Akin Bilgic

Image © Akin Bilgic

Source: http://www.cggallery.com/tutorials/vray_optimization/

Phoenix FD settings overview

If you're a Vray user, chances are you might have heard of Phoenix FD, or have even used it. The amount of information available about it isn't all that great though. But it's quite a capable fluid solver, if you know what you're doing.
And therein lies the problem... Without a lot of adequate information it's sometimes hard to get the results you're after. Luckily, sometimes there's someone who wants to take the time and effort to get the bottom of things, such as user mrLonelyHawkYT on YouTube, who has graciously gone through a lot of the core settings of Phoenix FD and has made a great number of comparison videos. I've linked a sample video below, but sure to check out the full playlist here.