CG art updates

Been deep diving into Houdini for the past couple of weeks testing out render engines and various other things. Trying to learn a bit of VEX and understand the attribute node and all that stuff. But yesterday I had a brain meltdown and just wanted to make something in C4D and Octane without breaking my brain. So I messed around a bit with the new Volume and Voulme mesher. Check out how the surface kinda glitches out and “breathes’ a bit. No idea what is causing that, lol! I also wanted to post this here because instagrams quality is really going to hell it seems. I can’t even see the scratches on it.

Houdini or bust

After much thought and weighing of options I have decided to do a deep dive into Houdini and Redshift and see what I can start doing in there. I am getting frustrated with doing sims and then figuring out how to export them from Houdini, into C4d and then render with Octane. Going to try to just get it all working in one dang place.

The possibilities are super exciting and with the speed of Redshift I can see myself having a easier time with look dev. Doing some basic tuts to start and rehash the basics then moving on to more advanced stuff hoping to absorb some of it. Hopefully I’ll start posting Houdini made abstract skulls shortly, lol!

Starting with these two series to rehash the basics and get some particle work going on. Then I want to revisit Applied Houdini again. I got through the first two working on my smoke sims but got in over my head. So a recap on Houdini and then a deep dive into smoke and particles. That should cover the next few months!

Realism Studies

Been focusing more on my realism with CG lately and wanted to post a few different pieces using Physical Renderer in C4d and Corona Renderer. If you follow me on Instagram you may have been seeing these trickle in.  Lots of little differences between the two render engines. The light plays a bit more subtle with Corona but Physical can hold it's own once you tweak the GI a bit. Corona gets the "Flare" of sunlight with shadows way better. Corona is really plug and play, no tweaks from the defaults at all but the materials are a bit different and it crashes Team Renderer every time. So it is not production ready as of yet.  Interactive render is very responsive, but save often. Physical gets some really nice details and the Multi-Pass is less glitchy.

Right now in my head I think for stills I would use Corona and for anything needing animation I would use Physical but I got this feeling I can get more out of Physical yet. Anyways, check em out. 

Clear LCDs as animated stained glass

This is pretty amazing. "‘Illuminated Glass’ is an interactive art experience that reimagines the traditional art of stained glass. The heart of the installation features a 4 panel box made with transparent screens and mirrors. A generative art system plays across the screens, appearing at first like modern stained glass. Light shines through the art, letting colored light into the experience."

Loops and Learning

Starting in May we took on a big CG project where we were doing all the finishing on product renders.  They would send us the raw renders and we would clean up and UV glitches and work up light passes to get the renders to a super clean hero look. This gave me the chance to pick the brain of the CG lead over there about what he was using in his workflow to get his results. They centered on C4d and Octane and the results were really good.  I never tested C4d because most of the rabble on the internet seem to slam it as only being good for making spheres look cool on instagram. But after this conversation, I picked up the Demo at the start of June and now can not stand to open Modo. Anything more than converting a file to FBX and I want to tear my head out. With Cinema 4D I find making animations super easy and rewarding. Plus, this also has opened up using DaVinci Resolve to do my post on the renderings which is a very powerful tool as well. Here is a before and after of my latest animation that shows what DaVinci can bring.

Before and After DaVinci

You can see more of the animations on my instagram page which is where I primarily post these things. So far I mostly just use the Physical Render in C4d and have not hit any major snags but I am running some tests with Corona which is really interesting.  Corona was also just bought out by The Chaos Group who make V-Ray which is really interesting to me as I really liked the results of V-Ray in Modo. Anyways, just some rambling on what I have been doing for fun, enjoy!


Been making some progress with photogrammetry lately. It's a lot of work but I am really enjoying the results. Been posting these to my instagram but I thought I would add something about how they were made as well. I am shooting with a Canon 5dsr, making the meshes in Capturing Reality, modeling the scene in Modo and rendering in VRay. It's sounds more complicated then it is honestly. 

This was my first go with a boot. Was pretty shocked at the results and that it snapped together this easily. Here are the original captures, the mesh cloud in Capturing Reality, the set in Modo and the Final render. I could not yet get the bottom of the boot on so it was hollow.

Second go was a vintage camera and the lens kinda messed upt the whole thing. I would like to go back and try to remodel this to clean it up. The details on the leather and all the dust made me happy. Hollow bottom.

Third time is a charm with a sculpture made by Drew Leshko (big fans here). This time I shot 430 images. Half with it right side up, half with it on it's back. I made two meshes this time and stuck them together in Modo to get a full 3d model with no hollow bottom. Really digging on this. 

VRay Fun

Been testing out VRay for a bit and it has started to really grow on me. I can spend more time getting the lighting and textures right instead of hunting down the noise demons that dwell in Modo's render engine. I really just hit render and let VRay do it's thing. Here is a outdoor study I worked on last night.

"Some places are better left forgotten..."