...Unique Creative Styles and Content For Animation
Mar 2014

Tools for Artists: 3DTotal's Master Custom Brushes EBook

Great Ebook from 3DTotal, “Master Custom Brushes For Characters”:


“A great custom brush will speed up workflow and add personality to your art. Our detailed 6 part guide shows you how!

Using custom brushes can add that special texture and help speed up your workflow. You can use a combination of custom brushes to quickly add cracks, dirt and scratches to textures or images, or use them to paint an underlying texture such as skin, cloth, leather and metal to a section of a painting. This expert guide reveals how to create different brushes to texture characters. Written by industry pros, each artist starts with a basic un-textured character and demonstrates how to create brushes that will add that all-important detail...”


References: Pinterest

What? You don’t have a Pinterest account? And you call yourself an Artist?! Please, but everything down and get yourself a free account know before your friends find out!...

So what is Pinterest? Well, they have a motto: “Pinterest is a tool for collecting and organizing things you love!” And collecting and organizing is right. Check out my review and tutorial on Pinterest to see how it works, but for now, check out a small sliver of what I so on todays’ “image feed”:


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Crazy, right? And this is just a small screen-grab of what I got. Read the article and you will see why Pinterest is a must for every Artist out there.


References: The Cool Hunter

One of my favorite sites in the entire Internet: The Cool Hunter. A website with - no pun intended... “cool” images of places, architecture, food, interior design, vehicles, etc, etc etc...


According to founder Bill Tikos,: “...The Cool Hunter website celebrates creativity in all of its modern manifestations. Since its inception in 2004 The Cool Hunter website has become the world’s most-read culture and design digital space and a leading authority on all things creative.  Truly a global hub for what’s cool, thoughtful, innovative and original. The Cool Hunter values international relevance, not trends, channeling what they discover to a worldwide audience...”

The site has all the posts broken-down into the following sections - which I’ve added a sample image so you can see what kind of “cool” stuff they post. Check it out here!

• Architecture • Design • Travel Fashion LifestyleMusic

ArtAmazing PlacesAdsKidsStoresEvents


and lastly, Treelife: a project they cal: “…an interactive exhibition of modern eco tree houses designed by the world’s top artists, designers and architects…”

I hope this inspires someone! Make sure you check out the post here, but if you don’t have the time and what to see “cool stuff” more often, join their newsletter!


Game Changers: Octane Render™ and .ORBX

OTOY announces the release of OctaneRender 1.5 and a NEW interchange file format called .ORBX


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OctaneRender™ 1.5 is the world's first-fully GPU based physically based renderer - where the software uses the video card of the computer to render, rendering images at extreme speeds, up to 50x faster than CPU - where the processor (CPU) of the computer is used to calculate the rendering. It has a real-time 3D scene editing capability, allowing you to change camera viewpoints, lights, materials and object positions in real-time seeing the changes immediately update in the viewport...


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With the release of OctaneRender™ 1.5, OTOY also introduces a NEW interchange file format called .ORBX: the .ORBX file format, which houses a comprehensive array of computer-generated scene data, enabling the most precise renderings possible across 15 of the top 3D modeling applications.

Click on the banner to read the rest of the game-changing review.


References: "Draw The Looney Toons"

Check out this post by Bob Guthrie from PixelToonsInk.com...

In his blog, Bob talks about the two versions of one of the few artists’ books Warner Bros. put out to the public (“Draw the Looney Toons” Chronicle Books, 2005) and how it compares to the version of the same book, which was given to the artist - like him, who worked at Warner Bros Consumer Products...


“…The credits list art by San Wei Chan... Mark Christiansen, Jerome Moore and Robert Guthrie. Text is by Frank Espinoza, co-written by Marie Taylor….”

Here’s an example of Bob’s artwork in the book:


The difference between the two book is sizable. The one the artist from WBCP got had 302 pages, whereas the one sold to the public had 208 pages... 94 pages! Bob also talks about other differences between the two books, like the titles. Very interesting article!


How to Ditch Your Day job and Become a Full Time (Insert Job Here!)

This article written by Anna Wray, “How to ditch your day job and become a full time illustrator,” came via Creative BloQ, and it's a “must” read for anyone who is thinking about becoming a successful independent (freelancer) Artist. Just substitute the word “Illustrator” for whatever is that you love to do!

Still for an animation for “A Cruel Bird came to the Nest and Looked in' Magnus Mills” for Bloomsbury Publishing

In the article they cover the following:

• Choose your specialty...
• Setting aside a specific time to work...
• Offer “friend’s rates”...
• Send something lovely in the mail...
• Sell stock illustrations...
• Start a part-time course...
• Contact agents...
• Embrace social media..
• Keep going...

Again, a must read for any Artist who is considering the “big jump!”


Game Changers: Patreon - Crowd Funding for Creators & Patrons

Here’s a crowd-funding site specifically dedicated to the Artist & Creator in you, Patreon!


“...Founded in May 2013 and based in San Francisco, California, Patreon was created to enable fans to support and engage with the artists and creators they love. Empowering a new generation of creators, Patreon is bringing patronage back to the 21st century...”

Patreon works for all types of creators:

Musicians YouTubers Web Comics Writers & Bloggers Indie Gamers Video Producers Authors Podcasters Animators Artists Photographers, etc, etc, etc...

Any creator who wants to share their work! Here’s and example of Elisa Kwon’s “Daily Dog”:


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Hope this helps someone or even gives them and idea... better yet, hopefully this will get your a@# in gear to promote your project!


Autodesk Announces 2015 Lineup of 3D Animation Tools

One word:



This via The Area & CGRecord (check out the videos!) and it looks AMAZING! Watch the videos and you will see why, this... is one “update” to be exited about!...

O.k.; even if its just for the new UV Editor in Maya:

Create UV shells: The new Create UV Shell command lets you create a UV shell from a selection of components...

Display connected edges on UV shells: The new Toggle Shell Borders command highlights sets of connected edges in different colors, making it easy to identify edges that are shared...

Tweak UV Tool: Reposition components without switching to the Move Tool...

Easy component selection: The UV Texture Editor no longer isolates the current selection. After making a selection, unselected components remain visible...

Select UV shells: Double-click a face or select the new Shell option from the UV Texture Editor marking menu to select a UV shell...

Transform components using the Tool Box: You can now use the Move, Scale, or Rotate tools to transform components...

Color feedback: allows you to see compressed or stretched UVs...

Hard edge display mode: When hard edges are displayed (Display > Polygons > Hard Edges), all components are displayed in the UV Texture Editor, and you can select any component type...

Nudge shells and components: Quickly nudge your selection using the new nudge controls in the UV Texture Editor toolbar...

Normalize UVs: The new Center on closest tile option lets you scale UV shells within the closest UV tile...


For a Great Cause: Primate Anatomy ZBrush Tutorial

An “fantastic” series of ZBrush tutorials by Ben Mauro via BadKing.com... because what makes this great series “fantastic,” is that 15% of the sale goes to a great cause: Save the Chimps (http://www.chimphaven.org/)


Here are the descriptions of the two series:

Primate Anatomy Part 1

In this six part tutorial, internationally renowned Artist and Instructor Ben Mauro shows us the tools and techniques necessary to build a high-resolution primate skull. Working within ZBrush 4R6, Ben utilizes a set of ZBrush tools and reference material to shows us his techniques to turn a simple three-dimensional sphere into a complex and highly detailed Chimpanzee Skull.

Primate Anatomy Part 2

In this twelve part tutorial, Ben Mauro continues to work within ZBrush 4R6 taking us through his process of creating a highly realistic Chimpanzee Bust from a simple three-dimensional sphere. He builds upon his primate skull created in his previous tutorial and demonstrates how to best utilize reference material to create desired results. Ben discusses how he renders, exports and brings sculpts into Photoshop before using a number of photobashing tips for added realism.

15% of Sales from Ben Mauro’s tutorial will go towards the Save the Chimps Foundation, rescuing chimpanzees from cruel conditions and experimentation performed within biomedical research laboratories.

No one has ever become poor by giving...
Anne Frank


New "Investment": Henman Miller Mirra

I’ve been having some problems with the temp chair I was using at my studio. Its hard to spend money on a chair, you would say... as I did - yes, I confess to this thought, but recently, after my forearms started to go numb towards the end of a long day, it came time to “invest” on a good chair...

So my friend Sandro and I decided to look around for a good chair. He brought up the Herman Miller Mirra series that they use at his studio, Sony ImageWorks, but also mentioned their steep prices... Just in case, we decided to look in the Internet and wouldn’t you know! We found a place in Illinois where they were selling them for... ready? HAF PRICE!


I don’t know where they got them and I don’t care... but they are AMAZING CHAIRS!

Invest in yourself. Your career is the engine of your wealth.
Paul Clitheroe


References: 6 Filmmaking Tips from Hayao Miyazaki

This came via FSR (FilmSchoolRejects.com,) and it's a great article by Landon Palmer about the 73-year-old Japanese Director, Hayao Miyazaki - Click on image to read article:


The article also showcases two video-segments from an interview by Jonathan Ross for the BBC, “Japanorama,” first aired in 2002...

Landon Palmer’s article covers the following topics:

• Work for a Richer Culture, Not a Distracted One

• Let the Images Guide the Pacing

• Let the Politics of Your Business Match the Politics of Your Films

• Know Your Limits and Embrace Teamwork

• Know How to Balance Old and New Media

• Don’t Underestimate Children; Don’t Overestimate Adults

And here’s my favorite quote of the article:

“...While Miyazaki makes films that are accessible to children, he refuses to make films that are by any stretch of the imagination childish. Instead, they push past the limitations and conventions of a present-tense rational adult world, exploring the array of possibilities that lie beyond the blinding assumptions of what animated movies can, or should, be. We should all be so lucky as to have a benchmark for cinema’s wondrous possibilities like Miyazaki...”

Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere!
Albert Einstein


DreamWroks' "Almost Home!" Trailer

This looks fun! I love Steve Martin as the voice of the Captain...





Can’t wait for the movie!

A day without sunshine is like, you know... night
Steve Martin