let's have a discussion :)
My axe is SideFx's Houdini. I've been in love with it since I first set eyes on it in 1998, but didn't use it in work until 2010. Until then I was using Maya. Yuck. It's now off my resume and I've left studios that made me use it. It makes my hands clench up in pain.
I've also used Shake and Nuke, After Effects, Photoshop, etc... But Houdini is really my jam. And it keeps getting better all the time. Best damn customer support in the industry, bar none!
My opinion on Blender is: Sure, if it fits your needs. It seems kinda quirky, but the community looks good.
Are you able to recommend any websites, blogs, resources to discover similar simulations/etc?
I'm not sure I understand what you're looking for.
What I saw in that video was a walk cycle that used as the basis for a bunch of different effects animations. So, basically an Art project. It doesn't look like it has anything to do with AR. That's more live generation, isn't it?
What makes that unique for you among art projects? Can you be more specific?
I am really just looking for avenues for discovering novel visual effects, interesting showreels, advanced demos, etc.
SIGGRAPH is a great resource. http://www.siggraph.org/ They're super nerdy too. I used to go to the conference when I could, before the pandemic.
Cinefx is a classic print magazine: https://cinefex.com/ A bit light on technique, but goes into a little depth about huge productions.
search for "visual effects magazine" and you'll find tons.
On reddit there is:
/r/simulated - people post simulations they’ve made or seen (that vary kind of wildly in quality)
/r/cinematography - not exactly vfx but closely related and there is occasional discussion of vfx
/r/computergraphics - good for innovations in computer graphics for more technical vfx artists
/r/Houdini - decent if you’re a houdini user
/r/vfx - general vfx discussion ranging from tutorials people post to examples people like in film
Then there's always the 3rd party forums for any particular software. Those are pretty easy to find and explore.
Do you know whether SGIs, Alphas, or SPARC machines were used for rendering for Spirits Within?
How much custom software was used vs off-the-shelf for design, rendering, etc. ?
Were you working directly under Sakaguchi/Squaresoft or as a contractor/freelancer?
I just wanted to say I really enjoyed watching Spirits Within as a teen, even if the story wasn't very well-executed. And I certainly thank you for your part in it. The CGI and brilliant colors were mindblowing at the time and it still holds up somewhat today.
>Do you know whether SGIs, Alphas, or SPARC machines were used for rendering for Spirits Within?
I want to say all SGI machines. At least that's what we artists had. Near the end of production they had to rebuild the top floor of the building to hold all the computing power. So, could have been anything up there.
> How much custom software was used vs off-the-shelf for design, rendering, etc. ?
I think all the pipeline was custom. The main thing I used was Maya. As it was brand new and we were such a large production we had someone from Alias in-house. That was AMAZING. Nothing like having software support down the hallways. And then I think we had a Renderman clone for rendering.
> Were you working directly under Sakaguchi/Squaresoft or as a contractor/freelancer?
"The Guch" was in the office and made frequent rounds. :-) Really nice guy from the limited interactions I had.
FFTSW was in the same building as the production for FFXIII (I think) so he worked on that too.
> I just wanted to say I really enjoyed watching Spirits Within as a teen, even if the story wasn't very well-executed. And I certainly thank you for your part in it. The CGI and brilliant colors were mindblowing at the time and it still holds up somewhat today.
Thanks buddy! I remember in 2002/3 being at a Rave in Los Angeles and seeing video from FFTSW on on screens and getting all full of warm pride, even for the little bits that I did.
For a while now, I have been wanting to learn how to use Houdini or Blender for 1) data viz, e.g., animations of very large amounts of data points and 2) making short animations that I could embed into my presentations.
If I had to I'd likely do whatever I could to use Emacs (spacemacs) for my daily driver.
Can Davinci Resolve Fusion replace After Effects?
I'm old school, I think it's evil and predatory. But also I grew up using pirated versions of Photoshop, I understand their motivation and the advantages to the customer. So, nothing new to add to the discussison.
> do you see the industry moving to
I have no idea. I don't do 2D stuff. I see studios moving towards cloud providers of software and hardware. But slowly. It's all business. So, if it becomes profitable to do so then everyone will jump on board. Already there's Deadline and a frothing market of cloud providers for turnkey 3D digital studios. Time will tell.
> Can Davinci Resolve Fusion replace After Effects?
They're different tools. So, no.
and I've been considering branching to 2D, photo/video editing, post production stuff. just out of interest but other than that I just don't have a reason to learn even more stuff if I end up not using it.
Because Maya is all high level tools with only partial and buggy procedurality. It's history stream is a joke. Because when I use Maya I feel like I'm fighting the will of each and every programmer for everything I want to do. Like each and every finger of every programmer is on my hand telling me how to do what I want to do.
However, in Houdini it's more like the programmers have left a pile of low level tools and let me do what I need to do however I want to do it.
In Maya, once you're done you have a final product. In Houdini, once you're done you have not only the final product, but also the process that created that product.
Since you asked about tools, I tend to live in Photoshop/Illustrator 99% of the time. I'm about to move to Kubuntu for my personal computer and fully intend on moving back to Paint Tool SAI (and a ahem "borrowed" PSCS2) which was my first love as far as digital drawing tools. I detest Adobe, but no alternatives have managed to compete other than those two (yes I've tried clip studio paint, procreate, affinity suite, etc etc. the lag drives me bananas.)
Most important thing for me with tools is longevity and reliability. I've noticed Japanese brands tend to be better about stable software for 10+ years and not updating things every six months and breaking my workflow or sneaking telemetrics in.
I'm also very conscious of tools that don't throw erotic/taboo artists under the bus - this is the primary reason I'm moving off of apple hardware after +15 years of faithfully using their ecosystem.
Houdini is amazing! check out tutorials at https://entagma.com
I've been moonlighting as a fine artist and illustrator for a few decades (with a brief diversion at an actual game startup that failed some time ago) but I mostly work in analog, with post procesing in Photoshop/Krita and a slew of specialized tools (e.g. Context Free, various fractal generators, etc).
http://zeruch.deviantart.com or @zeruch on IG.
G-code importer can be seen here:
Some results here:
I'm not a professional, but I'm learning digital painting. I use procreate on the iPad (It's way easier than connecting the graphic tablet to my computer) and I've made some good progress recently. I learned a bit about 3D, but did not really pursue as I got interested in programming instead.
Later on, I did a bunch of oil painting courses which were non-digital, but I followed along using ArtRage , which I find has some of the best natural media simulation (especially for oils), for a digital program. Clearly, this is a bit of a niche within the hobby, so I won't list courses, but here are plenty of excellent ones.
if you're into 3D I can recommend Imphenzia low poly on YouTube. I always had an interest in 3D but that really got me into it, sort of "soft landing" considering how relatively easy it is. from there is easy to branch out to advanced topics.
I eventually realised that I most enjoyed photorealistic rendering and that the asset marketplaces were often swimming in shovelware - so there was no real money in asset creation. Not that I was looking for serious revenue, but I had wondered if I could make enough money to pay for assets and licenses. I'd produced some promotional renders for asset creators and eventually came to the attention of someone who produces tutorials. So I decided to combine my 3D lighting knowledge with general photographic experience. I've now produced tutorials (sold on the Daz 3D marketplace) focussing on lighting 3D scenes using Daz Studio (and historically Octane). One of these has earned me enough money that I actually think I need to declare it on my tax returns!
[Edit] I sometimes use Blender to create simple 3D assets although I've never really gone up the learning curve. The 3D tools in Photoshop although simplistic are also sometimes okay for my purposes - e.g. if I want some 3D text in a scene. I keep meaning to have a look at Unreal and its rendering capability, but never quite get round to it.
I've used Blender, 3dsMax, Maya, and ZBrush but my work-horse software is usually Photoshop on my wacom and Procreate on an iPad.
In terms of music, I run NI software inside Logic Pro X.
Most of the time though, I'm trying to stay away from computers when I do my non-tech hobbies. So most of my work these days is traditional media - canvases, acrylics, wood, etc.
I had to look up what this is. What a cool hobby! Do you mind if I ask how you got into it? Is it like building a PC where there are a lot of resources, kits, interchangeable parts, etc? Or do you just buy some blueprints and hit home depot? (In case it wasn’t abundantly clear I have not a musical bone in my body and know nothing about music or instruments. So apologies if these are silly questions, I’m merely curious how someone found such a niche hobby! Or maybe it’s not so niche and I just need to add some musically-inclined friends to my social circle!)
However, unlike my day job I use my hands to create a physical object vs digital. I find that to be _extremely_ satisfying.
I have also started creating generative art. The outputs are SVG that get plotted with an axidraw. I use various tools and frameworks for this:
* Kotlin - https://openrndr.org/
* Python - I'm writing a custom framework that suites my style
* Adobe illustrator for the handful of things inkscape can't do very well
Is also said compositors are the last line of defense on movie productions (image only side). The mantra “we’ll fix it in post” means usually us fixing productions problems/incompetence/laziness/lack of money - and a ton of overtime.
I use Nuke on a daily basis and other softwares to assist related tasks.
For high-end productions, artists are very specialized - both 2D/3D artist usually spend 80% of their time in a single software: the most likely in these productions are Nuke and Maya, and for some artists, this can be Houdini, ZBrush or Photoshop. For the 3d tracking dept, 3D equalizer, Syntheyes or PFTrack.
I’ve started a long time ago, where most compositing softwares that I’ve used are dead: Shake, Combustion, 5D Cyborg and a bit of Toxik.
I recently joined a new studio as a pipeline developer/technical director. I’m very excited about the AÍ developments (in a non delusional way - only recent research is getting quality/control good enough for visual effects) and hope to bring these tools to more non-technical people.
I really enjoyed creating 3D art in Rhino, however my very old educational license doesn’t work on modern macOS. I have been meaning to get comfortable with other tools but have yet to find the time in my day to day. I'd be excited to hear peoples opinions on what's worth my time.
I sketch, and otherwise do the occasional digital work with my Wacom tablet though less often than I would like. I have had my eyes on a Cintiq for a couple months now thinking it would encourage me to do more, but I know the problem is less lack of tools than motivation. I have been a huge fan of ArtRage for years, although I have not tried the latest version. Photoshop is my primary tool.
I have been taking a near daily photo for over a decade now, every couple years I put out a video of them. The latest version I wrote some software to do a rolling average which ended up with a neat sort of painterly feel.
I also messed around building some tools to convert bitmaps into actual available lego's - and rendered using Stud.io
I use blender and python for reference.
Here's an example: https://ridaayed.github.io/posts/shark-flower-sunrise-venice...
Currently focusing on my painting practice in Hawaii :), and may bring tech-art together again in the future. You can find my work at https://www.artofxinyi.com or on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/artofxinyi
Many of my paintings are inspired by nature and touches upon aspects of spirituality - including themes of transformation and change, death and renewal.
Did you ever meet bigwigs like Lasseter and Katzenberg?
And movies where I possibly seen your work? Tarazan perhaps?
The studios are small so you’ll see everyone (higher ups less often, but you’ll see lasseter - he’s gone now though
or catmull walking around occasionally) I had the opportunity to meet lasseter once in a small group setting and he was the most intensely passionate person I’ve ever met about animation.
Hearing him speak about it almost made me cry.
The creative energy (and people) was incredible to experience. The engineers were artistically inclined and the artists were technically very smart. The mix of tech+art brings in different ways of thinking which I think contributes to the unique creativity of the environment.
What software did you use for the 3d visualizations?
I do a lot of video work using Blackmagic cinema cameras and Davinci Resolve. Solid as houses, features growing with every update. Also has Fusion built in which is a powerful Compositing and FX toolset. Been tinkering with Photoshop for more years than I care to remember. Also After Affects, which is great. However I have become less and less happy with Adobe over the years, so I'am currently working on weening myself off that teet.
I'm working with some amazing friends on Cosmoose, a kind of huge collaborative project where we do music, illustrations and videos.
I'm working on bridging the two by releasing the stems for everything CC-licensed, and building a platform to bring the good aspects of Git to ease the collaborative process.
Engineering, design, art, music, etc.
I started my career as an abstract painter and sculptor. Then transitioned into 3d animation, then web design, then into back-end web engineering. Found I was decent at that, then moved into web games(flash). I've been making games and interesting public interactive projects ever since.
Nothing you've probably heard of, maybe the ZX Plectrum (if you are British), a musical toy for android and iOS that is fairly popular.
If I would call my self anything it would be artist.
What is that?
I put my stuff on my blog. Feel free to check it out here: https://physica.dev/art/
What printer model would you recommend? What dpi?
I started in the 90's with Sculpt3D and REAL3D on Amiga.
Started to do a lot more of Unity and Unreal because the rendering engines are becoming pretty good, even for postproduction VFX. Traditional renderers are much much slower.
Did you ever work with a Video Toaster when you were on the Amiga?
How in your experience does Cinema4D compare to Blender or Maya?
Do you do any 2D work?
Not OP but I have been playing music non-professionally in the US for about 25 years - there are a number of ways non-pro musicians can work paid gigs. I have been paid to play coffee shops, small festivals, college radio events, the occasional decently attended bar show, etc. My personal experience is primarily loud and / or experimental music (punk, hardcore, noise, sound collage) and there are huge networks of like minded people throughout the US who work to set up and promote shows / concerts for local and touring artists.
Having said that, the total amount of cash I have made as a performing musician totals < $2000. A few outliers from my immediate circle have become moderately successful as non-pros.
I use a python script to merge the various layers into a single huge JPEG
I use GIMP for editing the resulting images, and for general photo editing.
as you see my original curiousity was regarding specific 3D tools and I got a variety of answers. it's kind of emergent property given by society. if a tree fell in the forest is it really a tree? that kind of thing.
if I'm being serious about it I'd say (roughly) minimum 6 months of effort given to study & creation. idk.
I require several pieces completed for commission, and am looking for collaborators related to a startup I am working on.
Never really bothered (because not project scope) but in theory should work with any content/image really.
I use RawTherapee, Canon Digital Photo Professional and Gimp for photo editing, and DaVinci Resolve, VLC and Handbrake for my video pipeline.
other than that you can build entirely generative sounds.
Seriously though, I do own a few but I only play for fun and don't devote enough time to practicing to get particularly good at it. But I can still hold my own just messing around for fun or sitting around a campfire. Sometimes casual/hobbyist-level can still be rewarding.
I actually just use it to generate artsy Web sites, so it's really Perl + bash + HTML + JS + CSS + PHP + .txt
Though I haven't done it for a little while and really need to get back into drawing again :-)