General CG

Old School gems ...

Yesterday i cleaned my old iMac´s hard drive because i like to sell it on eBay, while checking the data i stumbled over stone old productions i did. The oldest, a showreel is from 1997 (!) showing a super lame physical-screenrecording of my CRT-Monitor connected to the SGI Indigo 1 running Softimage Creative Environment and a cool plugin called "Fur-Designer". In the end i was deeply impressed about the creative and/or technical quality of some of the work. This sounds cocky, i know. But in 1997 i had limited possibilities and seen it from that perspective the stuff is quite good. I like to share that stone old stuff with you as i think it´s quite funny and it was a good lesson for me to refocus my possibilities i have now and what to do with this perception. I´m a bit "grounded" and also appalled how little i really used the new toys and hardware i have. If i had these tools back 1997 what would i have done ? Hmm ...  


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Quixel Megascan !

Okay ....

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Agis Photoscan

Let me scan it ... Recently we got a request to build a "cup cake" for a rendering, the same kind of cup-cake was already used before in traditional shootings but of course the cup-cake was not available anymore in real as some one my have had it for lunch =) So the question was if we model it using the one only reference photo available or if we try to scan it, we decided to give Agis Photoscan a try but to do so we need that cake in real again. Thomas found someone in Munich to bake the cake again using the ref-picture and then we started to shoot the cake here in our studio. The first session was done by me moving around the cake and shoot some freehand pictures in three rows, allover i shoot about 70 pictures or so, that worked okay and i got the first but not perfect 3d mesh. I used two LED-Lighsources to light the cake a bit and the shadows did not look to bad but in the end i got some ugly holes on the lower backside of the cake. I have no material to show as we used the trial-version which can not save or export. Next session was done by taking more care about the shadows and again it was me moving around the cake and the result was way better now, no holes but also not that super detailed 3d mesh in the end. The paper-cub thingy where the cake lives in did not show that zig-zag structure in the 3D mesh, but in combination with the textures it worked okay. Session2_Sparse_PointCloudSession1_Wire Session1_Shaded Session1_Textured   For my third test i liked to use a turntable from a friend of mine because in my theory it should deliver better results cause the lighting stays the same for all images. I tried to use a turntable before but only "freehand", means i just used my iPhone and shoot some quick´n dirty photos - big fail - results not useable at all. I used the same setup as above, two LED-Lights but the camera was at a fixed position on a tripod and again i shot three rows to capture as much as possible from the cup-cake. Turntable The result was amazing, the difference is already noticeable in the lower quality "sparse-cloud" Session2_Sparse_PointCloud Session2_Cameras But checkout the "ultra dense" point-cloud after merging the three point-clouds together ! This is freaking amazing =) Session2_DensePointCloud Here are some screens from the final mesh, you can see the difference it makes using the ultra-cloud in the second picture especially in the "paper-cup - zig zag" region. Session2_Wire Session2_Shaded Session2_Textured   And here is a quick Modo render using the older not "ultra dense point-cloud", the pre-final mesh had also nice uv´s with only two uv-islands which makes it easy to paint extra maps like the one i did for the reflections. Render_Scan_CupCake-Nerd2   I´m investigation more these days with different objects like a donut, a pixar walking teapot and a second cup-cake without the cut. Overall i´m really impressed what Agis Photoscan can do in no time, i stopped the time it takes to take the pictures for the second cup-cake and it only took 6 minutes for all rows.

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More Nodality doodles

Haha, it's getting complex ... I played a lil more with Nodality while watching TV, it's kinda relaxing for me experimenting with tools like that. It all as begun with the following image image And ended with this one ... image This is the nodal-flow ... image It would be cool if there's an option to name the construct to load it up later, but i'm sure it's on the list. Also right now the app looses the original image if you reopen the app, but as it is only one picture i used, it's not a big deal right now. As a Nuke user i would welcome some more functions like a mask slot directly in the comp-node, right now there is an extra node for doing this. Besides that, you have to add a lil to much nodes for common tasks like the size of f.e. a checker-texture. It would be nice to optionally add a extra node to control the size but have just the size as an function directly in the texture. But it seems like the developer is putting everything together right now to optimize it later. After all, WELL DONE - Love it.  

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"Nodality" Node based Compositing on the iPad

Nodes on the iPad From time to time i'm just browsing the app-store for new cool apps, especicaly for node based image-editors. I always wondered that ther's none, until today. I found the app called "Nodality" which is free (!) and real cool for someone like me who loves nodes. During my first experiments i had to get used how it works, but the first result looks quite nice and would be hard todo with all the other tools for image manipulation on a iOS device. Nodality result Setting up the nodes is easy, hold the finger on the screen to add a node, choose the kind of the node like "comp" add two more nodes and set it to image-loader. To connect the images to the comp node, just hold the finger on one of the images for a second and choose the input on the comp-node - done. image The possibilities using nodes are endless, that's why i love them and why i use Nuke at work. Check it out, it's free and won't hurt you at all. Here is a link  to the developers webpage where you will find some videos how it works.      

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Awesome iPad App "Psykopaint"

  Psykopaint 1 Psykopaint4 Psykopaint2 Psykopaint3 Yesterday i came across an cool painting app for my iPad called Psykopaint. The name is strange but the app provides the coolest waterpaint simulation i have seen on an ios device, yeah, i even don't know a app on my mac which does that so well. You can paint over a photo or paint from scratch using watercolor, brushes, pencils and so on. The app is free, but if you like the watercolor function you have to pay for it or a set of four more painting styles. Give it a try,

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Great video about Pixar´s "Presto" Animation System

Here´s a nice video about the proprietary animation-system called "Presto" Pixar is using for it´s animation works. Also there's a talk about interactive lighting in Foundry-Katana using Renderman running on Nvidia-GPU´s.      

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Frax Fractal renderer iPad

Frax -  Fractal Render

Some days ago i bought a app called "Frax" which is a fractal or also called "Mandelbrot" generator for iOS devices. The amazing part of the app is that the fractals will be rendered in near realtime as a preview and final rendered in in a few minutes in retina-resolution. One of the devs behind the software is Kai Krause, he's known for his graphic app back in the 90th called "Kai's power tools" The only downside right now is the missing animation feature which would be awesome to have.

imageimageimageimageFrax titleimageimageimageFrax renderimage

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