Shaderlight Competition Winners

Launched to celebrate the tenth anniversary of ArtVPS, developers of rendering plug-in to SketchUp, Shaderlight, the competition attracted hundreds of entries from all around the world, covering a wide variety of subjects. The panel of judges, including our friends from 3D Artist and SketchUcation, awarded the entries on both technical ability and overall appearance.

David Harris from Texas scooped the first prize and $200 Amazon vouchers for his render of a truck. Although he uses Shaderlight in a professional capacity, David created the image of a truck just for fun, as he’s always loved the curves and designs of early trucks. He said of his win: “I am blown away. After I entered the contest, I saw some of the other renders on the forum and knew it was going to be a tough choice for your judges”.

 

 

Competition judge Mike Lucey from SketchUcation commented: “David’s image really grabbed my attention. For me, he has produced an image that is streets ahead of the rest – and a lot of the other entries were very good.”

Second prize was awarded to Carrie Barker, architect at Overcash Demmitt Architects in North Carolina. Resident Shaderlight guru, Martin Cox, said: “This image has a lot of detail and the longer you look at it, the more you notice. Combining this with the street view background shows the true scale of the building. Shaderlight is a really popular tool for architects around the world and it’s great to see it being put to such good use”.

Finally, third prize went to Duane Kemp of Kemp Productions for this image. Martin Cox said of the image: “We know that Duane creates some great work using Shaderlight so it’s no surprise that one of his images was selected by the judges. The first thing that jumps at you in this render is the camera angle, which is not one that you see every day. We were also impressed with the use of shadows from the objects and plants which really shows off Shaderlight’s lighting features”.

Graham Wylie, CEO at ArtVPS, said: “It’s always great to see the high quality of work being produced by Shaderlight fans around the world. What’s particularly heartening is the wide range of people using our tool, from professional architects and designers to students and people who just love rendering with Shaderlight as a hobby. We’re also starting to see a few of the much younger fans starting to enter our competitions, with impressive renders being created from budding architects as young as 13! We look forward to seeing new work as our product continues to develop and grow in popularity around the globe”.

To see more of the competition entries click here.

ZClassroom Videos – Military Character Assets with Joseph Drust

In this series of ZClassroom videos, Joseph Drust walks you through the steps to create a picatinny, a “molle”, a radio, and more. You’ll learn how to use the updated functions within DynaMesh as well as Insert Mesh, NoiseMaker, Decimation Master, and Mirror and Weld.

Joseph has over ten years of experience working in the video game industry as a character artist with a focus on modeling and sculpting. He has created character assets for games including Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, Ben 10 Alien Force, Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon, and most recently Ghost Recon Future Soldier. Joseph currently works as a lead character artist for Ubisoft Entertainment (Red Storm Entertainment) in Cary, North Carolina. Joseph is also a beta team member for Pixologic’s ZBrush and a certified ZBrush Instructor. In his free time Joseph kit bashes Kidrobot’s Munny Vinyl figures and gives demos on ZBrush to local schools.

From the outset, you’ll quickly notice Joseph’s incredible attention to detail and commitment to accuracy. His approach is unique and makes for extremely close replicas of the real deal. Joseph utilizes military gear reference photos and precise schematics. Most importantly, these videos are in real time, allowing Joseph to clearly outline every function he uses in ZBrush 4r4 to create these digital assets.

To watch Joseph Drust’s ZClassroom videos click here.

 

 

CINEMA 4D R14 Demo Version Available Immediately

To mark the start of SIGGRAPH 2012 in L.A., MAXON is announcing the immediate availability of the CINEMA 4D R14 demo version. Test incredible new features such as the completely integrated sculpting system, the camera matching functionality and new connectivity to third-party applications. Modeling, animation, rendering and workflow have also been made even better, which lets everyone from motion graphics designers to VFX artists, visualization professionals and more achieve dazzling results even faster and easier than before.

The CINEMA 4D R14 demo version can be activated with complete functionality* for 42 days, including the save function.

Download your CINEMA 4D R14 demo version today!*Limitations of the demo version:

  • All save functionality is disabled (except when activated)
  • Maximum rendering resolution of 640 x 400 pixels
  • No network rendering
  • Limited number of assets in demo libraries (libraries contain hundreds of objects in the full commercial version)
  • The demo version is not upgradeable to a full commercial version
  • The demo version is intended for evaluation purposes only. Any commercial use of the demo version, e.g. for training purposes, is not allowed.

 

Cinema 4D August Special

Together with the announcement of CINEMA 4D Release 14, we are offering a great special during the month of August! Purchase CINEMA 4D R13 during the month of http://www.cadsoftwaredirect.com/images/front_maxon.pngAugust (2012) and optionally receive the MAXON Service Agreement (MSA) for one year at no extra cost – which means you will automatically receive the Release 14 update!

Upgrade customers in particular will save big because they skip a step in the upgrade path. Also new customers will benefit from the MAXON Service Agreement. They will receive preferential support services and enhanced usage rights. On top of that, the annual MSA fees are much less than the regular upgrade prices.

So buy your CINEMA 4D R13 including the one-year MSA during the month of August and your Release 14 will be on its way. The August special is available from MAXON directly or at any certified reseller.

*Offer valid for all CINEMA 4D and BodyPaint 3D full versions, upgrades and competitive sidegrades. Not valid for student, teacher or educational versions. For the August special, the software license price will be reduced in the value of an annual MSA fee. The MSA contract will be billed separately from the license price in September 2012. With the MAXON Service Agreement, customers receive the newest software version, preferential support services and enhanced usage rights for a fixed annual fee. If the contract is not terminated at least three months prior to its expiration it will automatically be extended for one additional year. Please contact your local distributor for further information on the MSA.

If you’re interested in this offer, go to CAD Software Direct.

ZBrush 4R4 Patch

A patch is now available for ZBrush 4R4

If you have not yet upgraded to ZBrush 4R4 (free upgrade to registered license holders), please follow these instructions instead:
https://www.pixologic.com/zbrush/downloadcenter/instructions

This patch addresses the following:

  • Fixes inconsistent behavior of customized UI buttons and palettes.
  • Updates HD geometry read/write functions.
  • Adjusted ‘Simple Brush’ rendering of applied alpha.
  • Option to turn off LightBox ‘Open at Launch’ setting is now enabled.

How to Update

  1. (PC Users, Only) Browse to your ZBrush 4R4 folder and delete updater.exe, if present.  Do NOT delete ZUpgrader.exe!
  2. Run ZUpgrader or launch ZBrush and click Zplugin>Auto Update>Check new updates.*
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions.
  4. When update completes, launch ZBrush and activate.  The ZBrush title bar will now say “ZBrush 4R4 P2“.

*Note: For some users, depending on user permissions and network security, the “Check new updates” button may return a script error.  If that happens, simply run ZUpgrader in your ZBrush 4R4 folder.

Cinema 4D R14 Released

MAXON unveiled CINEMA 4D Release 14, (R14) a milestone release of the industry-leading 3D motion graphics, visual effects, painting, and rendering software application. Leveraging more than two decades of 3D graphics programming innovation, R14 delivers breakthrough performance offerings including a new, fully integrated sculpting system, new camera matching functionality, the debut of exchange plugins to two key applications — The Foundry NUKE and Adobe Photoshop Extended — and improved integration with Adobe After Effects. Packed with a number of other powerful workflow feature enhancements, creative professionals – motion graphics and visual effects artists, as well as visualization designers – will benefit from features that accelerate productivity to produce spectacular 3D content more fluidly, and the ability to collaborate with increased efficiency.

NEW to R14!

Easy to Use and Easy to Learn, Stable, Fast and State-of-the-Art Technology

There’s a reason why these terms are included for each Release – and this tradition continues with Release 14! These are the qualities upon which customers have always been able to count and they continue to guarantee the satisfaction of MAXON customers and CINEMA 4D users.

Sculpting

Organic modeling is made easy with the fully-integrated Sculpting system in CINEMA 4D Studio Release 14 and BodyPaint 3D. Transform any base mesh into virtual clay, shaping it with tools like pull, pinch, smooth, knife or scrape. Advanced symmetry tools allow you to mirror a single stroke along multiple axes, and even radial fashion. Fine details can be added with stamps and stencils, and you can apply masks to limit the sculpt to specific regions. You can even organize your sculpt project in a hierarchical layer system, and modify mask and strength options for each layer. Finally, directly texture, animate and render your sculpted mesh, or easily bake it into a low-poly mesh with displacement and normal maps.

Modelling

Model faster and more accurately with new interactive workplane modes, dynamic guides and a completely redesigned snapping system. Easily align your workplane to any world axis, the camera or the current selection, then snap to the grid or adjust global coordinates based on the workplane orientation. Draw linear or planar guides directly in the view, or snap to dynamic guides generated around each component. You can also easily select objects or components by simply painting over them with the right-mouse button pressed.

Animation

Accelerate your animation workflow with enhancements to cameras, dynamics and character tools in CINEMA 4D R14. Quickly morph between camera positions and create dynamic camera animations with the Motion Camera system. Gain greater realism and control over dynamics in CINEMA 4D Broadcast and Studio with aerodynamic forces, plastic springs and breaking connectors, as well as enhanced Xpresso control over dynamics. Give life to your characters with updated rigs and enhanced capabilities of the Character Object.

Rendering

Achieve greater rendering realism and compositing control with CINEMA 4D R14. Simulate wood grain, weathering effects and normal mapping with new shaders. Enjoy faster, more accurate GI calculations with Multiple Importance Sampling and radiosity maps. And, you have even more control over your renderings with color grading in the Picture Viewer and as a post effect, and you can optimize your compositing workflow with the position pass.

Workflow

R14 offers amazing enhancements to exchanges with key applications like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects and Nuke. Now you can manipulate 3D objects, lights and textures directly in Adobe Photoshop. New options have been added for exchanging your 3D scene with After Effects. And, a new seamless connection to NUKE has been added that automatically creates your multi-pass composite, through multi-layer OpenEXR support.

Interface

Work faster and smarter with numerous enhancements to the workflow and interface in CINEMA 4D R14. You’ll enjoy the more attractive and responsive 3D view with new object highlighting and outlining, and improved OpenGL shadows. Easily access commands and add tags using the new spotlight-style Commander. New composition helpers have been added to arrange your scene based on grids or golden spirals, and you can easily choose the focal distance with the new camera focus picker. Arabic speakers will especially enjoy the CINEMA 4D interface in their native language including a specially-designed right-to-left layout mode.

 

To see more information or if you’re interested in buying one of the C4D R13 Products go to CAD Software Direct.

SIGGRAPH 2012!

Don’t forget the 39th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques

You and more than 20,000 creators and users of computer graphics and interactive techniques, in Los Angeles at the SIGGRAPH 2012 Exhibition for five full days of world class technical presentations, creative exploration and the industry’s largest marketplace of products and services.

Booths we recommend  you visit:

Register Now – FREE Exhibit Hall Only Pass Code – sig2012…

Exhibition Floor Plan…

Rhino 5.0 Beta – New Build

Rhino 5.0 is now very stable and ready to put into production.

http://www.rhino3d.com/images/rhino.gif

Timid owners of Rhino 4.0 are now invited to download and use the Rhino 5.0 beta. We still have a few tune-ups and minor bugs to fix. Plus, the documentation, translations, and marketing materials need to be finished. New Rhino 5.0 public beta builds are available almost every week. Rhino 5.0 automatically downloads and notifies you of updates when they are ready.

64-bit Windows Supported: The 64-bit version of Rhino 5.0 allows you to open and edit models that are much larger than you could in Rhino 4.0. The 32- and 64-bit versions of Rhino 5.0 can be installed and run on the same computer at the same time.

Backward Compatible: Rhino 4.0 Plug-ins will load and run in the 32-bit version of Rhino 5.0. Plug-ins will need to be recompiled for the 64-bit version of Rhino by the plug-in developers. Until they’re ready, you may need to run the 32- and 64-bit versions of Rhino 5.0 side by side. Rhino 4.0 and 5.0 can be run on the same computer without a problem. Also, you can SaveAs 4.0 files from Rhino 5.0.

System Requirements: Windows XP (32-bit), Windows Vista (32- or 64-bit) or, Windows 7 (32- or 64-bit) Rhino 4.0 500MB of disk space 2GB RAM (4-16GB recommended for 64-bit systems and very large models)

Don’t wait to try Rhino 5.0!

Cinema 4D in Discovery Networks’ new online promos!

With the Help of CINEMA 4D mysterious marine creatures come to life in Discovery Networks’ new online promos!

3D artist Jean Marco Ruesta explains how he combined 3D and cutting-edge web techniques for the spots. They’re ferocious, vicious, dangerous and they’re headed straight for you … online. Discovery Network’s web promos for hit shows River Monsters and Shark Week offer up a heart-pounding view of some frighteningly real underwater creatures brought to life using MAXON’s CINEMA 4D.

Known for presenting informative and entertaining programming on the unusual and unseen lives of animals and insects around the world, Discovery Network looked to New York City-based 3D animator Jean Marco Ruesta to create the imaginative River Monsters promo in which creatures appear to swim out of the frame. “I like doing stuff that makes me think outside of the box,” says Ruesta, who teaches CINEMA 4D classes at the New York’s School of the Arts and works at Alien Kung Fu in Manhattan.

Ruesta had just five weeks to complete the River Monsters promo. His work began when Discovery Network gave him some reference boards, a basic YouTube page created by their in-house design team and footage of the show’s host Jeremy Wade standing in front of a green screen on a sound stage in London. With all of that for inspiration he came up with an online spot that, at first glance, looks like a typical YouTube page with one main player window and several videos from the show on which to click.

Suddenly the action ramps up when Wade steps out of a banner ad, grabs a fish net and throws it across the screen. Catching the play button for the main video with the net, Wade fast forwards to live footage of an episode of the show in which he struggles to hold on to a giant salamander as it writhes and twists in his hands.
In the promo, Wade’s toss of the net looks effortless. In fact, it was a bit of a challenge for Ruesta to pull off. Though he had green screen footage of Wade actually throwing the net and pretending to throw it, none of the shots worked well in Ruesta’s overall design plan. So he reached out to the online CINEMA 4D community for help with creating a net for the host to throw. It took a couple of tests, but soon the ideas he got from everyone came together and he was able to create a net by creating a plane and an Atom Array Object.

After applying Cloth Dynamics to the plane, Ruesta constrained points of the net to a few control objects and began animating. “Without my gurus Jack Myers and Dr. Sassi from Cineversity, I would have been lost,” he recalls.

Ruesta used a variety of approaches to create the show’s creatures. To animate the salamander, for example, he used the Spline Wrap deformer to define the path along which this creature, and others, moved. He also added a few nulls to the surface of the salamander, and with the help of the CINEMA 4D to After Effects connection tools (external tag), he was able to get the null’s position data into After Effects.

Ruesta’s work on River Monsters surpassed Discovery Network’s expectations and he was asked to create an online promo for their Shark Week show. More ambitious than the first project, this promo again used green screen footage, this time of actor Andy Samberg standing in a room talking to viewers. He’s interrupted when two big bumps shake the room just before a shark bursts through the wall, shakes his head back and forth and swims off the screen and out of sight leaving Samberg drenched.

One of the biggest challenges Ruesta faced was figuring out how the shark would break through the website interface as though it were breaking through a wall. For this he relied on CINEMA 4D’s Dynamics tools for a natural breaking and crumbling effect. Using the YouTube interface as a template, he modeled and textured a wall of wooden planks and then broke them up in the area through which the shark would. Ruesta added tags to all the pieces so their position data would be available in After Effects.


Watch the Rivermonsters spot:

http://www.youtube.com/rivermonsters

Watch Sharkweek spot:
http://www.youtube.com/discoverysharkweek

Cinema 4D’s Role in UEFA’s Euro 2012

Powerful Soccer Symbolism

When UEFA initiated the Euro 2012, a powerful symbol had to be created for the tournament and CINEMA 4D played a key role in its creation.

 Major events cast long shadows, and so it was that in the latter part of 2009 the Portuguese effects studio Bikini was contacted by the agency Brandia Central and given the job of creating the animated version of the logo for the upcoming (2012) European soccer championship.

Helder Pombinho, creative director at Bikini, and his team created dynamic animations based on Brandia’s designs. Avoiding a photo-realistic look, these animations had to capture the expression, style and feeling of the graphics they depicted.

The scenes were full of SubSurface Scattering”, remembers Helder. “It was one of the CINEMA 4D features we used the most – whereby many of the scene elements were 2D or 2.5D.

In the course of four months, the trio at Bikini developed video vignettes, clips, transitions and stills for the Euro 2012. CINEMA 4D’s MoGraph and Dynamics features were used to create great-looking animations for the wide variety of elements involved.

Bikini used CINEMA 4D’s renderer and its Sketch & Toon feature to create the desired look. The hard work paid off and the team was awarded the prize for Best Motion Graphics 2010 from the Creative Club Portugal – a prize you don’t win everyday! This is a project upon which Helder reflects with joy, because thanks to CINEMA 4D, its realization went quickly and smoothly. “CINEMA 4D is a tool for artists who want to create fantastic looking projects professionally and easily!