Monday, September 14, 2009


*Yawn* Monday morning, class in a couple of hours, haven't slept much. Finished the leg yesterday. Now polycount is 1300, if you duplicate the leg for the other side [*gulp*.. it's creeping up]. After work, gonna work on the head & torso.

*Joe keeps hearing Ra-ra-Rasputin! in his head.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Shake Your Booty

Oh my kosh-b'gosh. Not a single post since July?! Grr.. shame on you, Joe [*spank spank spank*]

Aaanyway.. yeah, I've been busy. With boring stuff. However, one interesting thing coming up soon is an exhibition that me and some others in the faculty are gonna participate in. My work deals with low-poly modeling, so I'm gonna be churning out a few characters for that event - no animation, just big big printouts.

I'm fascinated with low poly modeling [been trying for years to master it and still haven't come close to some of the stuff you see online] and I have the utmost respect for game artists - they manage to churn out some of the most awesome stuff using the least resources and make some really beautiful stuff using all sorts of dirty 3D tricks. Go ahead, check out I could get lost in that site for hours.

I just started modeling yesterday [what??! so late?! come back here! *spank spank spank*] and finished the boots for the first character (some kinda mechanical dude). The polycount is around 250, and all the details are through textures. I'll post the model in bits.. hopefully I can finish all four characters before time runs out [with Raya round the corner, and exam week, and all the stupid meetings during the student's holiday aiyooo.. things look grim].

Aaaaanyway. Back to spanking. *spank spank spank*

*Joe's ass looks like mangled play-doh after all the spanking... and you can take that image out of your head right now. No really. Do it. Now.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Quickie : Lemony *Snikt!*

Those of you who have been visiting this blog for a while should know that now and then, I feel bad for relying too much on Zbrush... so sometimes I just feel like tackling something old-school style, modeling completely in Maya.

So here's a cartoonish, Bruce Timm-like version of our favourite psychotic mass murderer. Gonna move on and model the whole body whenever I got some empty time to fill up.

*..ever wondered why Logan's teeth aren't coated in adamantium?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

GoZ! GoFasterZ!

Zbrush 3.2 with GoZ was just released!.... for Mac OSX users only. Only a matter of time before it swings the other way.. either that, or we gotta wait for Zbrush 4 :p

...but seriously... 3D workflow is forever changed with this stuff. Dammit - this is one of the times I wish I was a Mac user.

*Joe is clapping his hands jumping up and down like a little girl. He's THAT excited.

Goldfish Memory

I totally forgot about this guy.

Semester started around 3 weeks back, and things were already going into full gear - the rest of this guy [since the last update] was literally done in a couple of hours; I had to rush because the students were going to use this model for their assignment.

The total polycount for the whole thing was around 1500 - a lot of the details was lost because of this, but I wanted to make sure that this model was friendly to computers of all ages.

All maps were just 1k [AO, normal and cavity]. No time to do any colour textures :(

Super quick rig

Last thing to do was a deformation test to see how pose-able it could get.

So... that's it. Really unhappy with how this turns out 'cos it was rush job... but there are a lot of other university things I gotta focus my attention on [and other stupid things that keep coming back to haunt me... that's right.. I'm looking at YOU, stupid KPI monsters and MAPS contracting grrrr].

Dunno when I'm gonna be able to post up anything else.. I see lots of unpleasant things to do in the near future.

*Joe wishes he had 8 arms and 3 heads

What is the human up to now...

It's that time of the year when I'm teaching camera tracking again, so here's a couple of the example tracked footage that I cooked up this time round for class, both taken in/around my place.

Tam-Tam is not amused

I'm glad these worked out pretty well, requiring little to no fixing at all [this time round, I actually took measurements of everything, making it a bit more accurate.

...and, just for entertainment's sake :

Tam-Tam. Half cat. Half Demon.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Oh no! I've been cloned!

Nothing work-related, but bizarre enough to mention.

Mel just got a copy of Sims 3. She made a sim of me. She uploaded that sim a couple of hours ago. I have been downloaded 207 times since then.

*...I look weird as a sim.

Monday, June 1, 2009

One Eyed WIllie W.I.P. 03

Cleaned up the back details a bit more. I'm trying to give some impressions of bone patterns, just so that it doesn't look all mechanical, or a really padded suit (that's why the spinal column and ribcage patterns are on there. My main goal is to try and get a good blend between organic and synthetic forms in here.

That small thing on the back? I think that's like a little reactor in there that provides the power for this guy (a battery pack-lah :p) Will finish the chest and shoulder area in the next update.

Nadia : Ooh! Now there's a stingray on it's back!
[First fish... then eels... now a stingray. I'm sensing a pattern here.]

*Tomorrow. Monday morning. Oh joy.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I ^heart^ Pixologic

Do those guys at Pixologic even sleep?!

First, earlier this week they released the awesome Decimation Master for ZBrush. And today they release this announcement for GoZ.

F'ing mind-boggling awesomeness.

*found out that washing detergent tastes kinda yummy in small portions

Rhinoceroses? Rhinoceroseses? Rhinocerosi?

Was getting tired of paperwork, so decided to $#*&! it and try out something new this afternoon.

Maya's default skinning method is.. kinda horrible (and that's being KIND. It really really sucks). There's always weights in the wrong place, and even after skinning and locking and painting again, there's always weights moving around because of the normalization factor and you get stuck doing extra PSDs and adding influences and sculpts, yadda yadda yadda...

Anyway, was browsing around on the internet and found a cool little method on Highend3D that makes Maya bind the geometry to the bones, not the joints (simulating the skinning algorithm used in Blender) and it produces MUCH MUCH better results. I didn't even have to make any corrections to the binding :O Even in the 'problem areas' like the hip-leg and arm-shoulder parts.

This is the model I made for the test, a low-poly speed model of Rhino (one of Spiderman's villains). Around 1100 polys. Quickly rigged, and then skinned using the method described above, and did a quick run cycle just to test it out. Outtadawayyyy!!

Yeah I know... it isn't much and the timing's a bit shot. But this discovery kinda opened my eyes to a whole new way of doing things more efficiently. One of these days gonna explore it a bit more. But until that day comes... back to the boring work.

*Saturday! Yay! Waittaminit... more work?! Boooo.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

One-Eyed Willie W.I.P. 02

Between KPIs, CSRs, final marks, ICEMS, SIGs, LANs and arrghhhhh&$*#(@^~!

Anyways, managed to carve out a few more details on ol' Mr Goldfish. Still pretty much making it up as I go along (but a lot of references are getting mixed up in my head - it's pretty much a mash up of Crysis, Metal Gear Ninja, Stormtrooper, those funny-lookin frog suits we saw in that new GI Joe trailer, and a bunch of other stuff I'm not quite sure what I'm seeing).

Only managed to add some detail on the torso and carve out the rough proportions for the back part. Since I made the mistake of doing this part by part, and not planning the entire body proportions early on... I foresee a lot of cursing in the future. But I guess that's what you get when you DON'T PLAN :(

Didn't manage to sculpt it as detailed as I'd like since my com is already choking on polygons (looking forward to retopo this sucka to less than a few thousand polys). Extra details such as little plating bits, rivets, screws, dings, scratches and decals are gonna be textured on later (at least, I hope so. Really have no idea if I'm gonna finish this.)

I'm toying with the idea of donating this model to the FA2 students next sem - they could use it to make their obstacle course exercise, and hopefully put this guy through a whole bunch of ninja moves :O wachaaa! G'nite!

*Tomorrow is FAnite! Or is it? Have no idea what's going on...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

One-Eyed Willie W.I.P. 01

It seems like forever since I've posted up anything, so here's a little doodle I was working on earlier this morning.

Kinda making it up as I go along, so there's not really that much I can say about at the moment bout what was going on in my head while I was sculpting it. Maybe in the next update. Aaaanyway.. let's see whether I can actually devote myself to finishing this whole thing.. even with all the other stuff distracting me.

Mel = "It looks like a goldfish!"
Nadia = "It looks like 2 fishes! A giant fish sitting on top of a smiling moray eel!"
Joe = "........................................"

*Whee! FA Delta presentations tomorrow morning!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Quickie - ....whuh?

Super quickie. This one pretty much reflects how I feel most of time these days. Need something to get me all excited again about something... about anything, actually. Gahh.. tomorrow is work again. Back to the grind. (<- refer to previous post about needing a vacation)

Friday, April 24, 2009


Everyday. So burnt out by job. Depressed. Need vacation. Now.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Quickie - Brainssss

Some animals smile in a really cute way, even if they can break your arms and bite your head off (think = cats, dogs, bears, monkeys, etc...). And some other animals... they smile in a really cute way too... except they look really evil while doing it (think = crocodiles, snakes, piranhas, spongebob squarepants, etc...).

I don't know why I'm even thinking about that. Anyway, quickie sketch before going to sleep on Sunday and while wifey is playing SimCity4 (around 30 mins of doodling).

Nite guys.

Friday, March 13, 2009

It's Not Easy Being Green

Coupla days ago we were in the greenscreen studio downstairs, testing out the lights, making sure everything works before the students start shooting for their VFX projects. This was a simple test to make sure things could work. Looking back on this, I really should've used a tripod... tracking handheld footage is unnecessarily painful.

*thanks to Jafni the Green Ranger for setting up the lights and to Nadia for being so good at... walking straight

Sunday, March 8, 2009

D. Tales

Not much of a post, really - opened up the Longneck model and started etching out some subtle skin detail on him (a bit too subtle in fact... maybe I should make em pop em out a bit more later...)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Blubberboy [Part 3, R.I.P.]

Arghhhhh. Haven't really had the time lately to do any personal work ( translation = anything FUN).

Anyways, tomorrow I'm teaching a facial animation class. Came up with these 2 quick samples this evening. Still no textures on poor Blubberboy, and to tell the truth, I'd rather move on to something else. So... bye bye, fattie.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Quickie : Longneck

Very quick morning doodle <- haven't even had breakfast or showered yet... wife still asleep in bed :p I just like the direction this is going in.. I might save it and come back to it later.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Blubberboy [Part 2]

Still no textures yet, just a simple ramp shader. Just finished setting up the facial deformations, here are a few renders. was only while testing them out, I realized there are quite a few mistakes that I gotta fix - some of the controls don't make sense, and I could've tied up the connections more efficiently :( ...anyway, that'll have to wait- my flight back to Sabah is tomorrow, will be gone all week, and since the new semester's coming up, there's still a lot of paperwork to do *grumble grumble*

Happy Chinese New Year, all!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Playing With Matches fun, no matter how much your mum tells you otherwise.

Just trying out some matchmoving stuff, and trying to figure out workflows that make the whole process a lot less painful.

So now.. what should I put in these shots? Robots? Dinosaurs? Flying naked midgets? Hmm...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Clearer than real life!

Thought I'd treat myself to a New Year's present, so I got meself a new toy. This. Is. So. Cool. I can't stop playing with it! The video quality is sharp as hell, and it performs better than I thought it would under low-light conditions. Hopefully I'll be using it in a lot more VFX-related work in the future.

QUESTION : What do you get when you cross a Tiger during Winter?

...give up? FROSTBITE!! Hahaha - get it? Huh? Frostb- ok, that joke sucked. *sigh* Anyway...

My first freelance project in 2009! But this isn't really it... everything down here is being scrapped and redone, that's why I'm able to post it. It's still a W.I.P., maybe will post the details and finished work when it's done.

Anyway, it's a Tiger [duh]. The client went to my wife first for her to make several designs of different animal mascots for their service/product and the tiger is one of the designs that made it. My part was to build the mascots in 3D and rig them up for animation and stills and stuff.

The challenge in this is that it had to really match the original 2D cartoon design - every pose that it makes needs to have a nice, smooth silhouette and all the deformations should still retain that 2D-ishness [?] of the original design. My favorite reference for that kind of stuff was Kung Fu Panda with their ultra-squishy 3D characters that behaved very 2d-like [no offense to WALL-E, but come on... Kung Fu Panda was wayyyy more fun!].

So these were the test renders to see whether the deformation rig would work or not [this is the model without the costumes on, since the main issue was body deformation]. At first I was going to do a full muscle-rig but then I realised that [*small voice* I wasn't being paid enough to go through that kind of trouble :P] So in the end, it came down to the normal careful weight-painting and a lot of pose-space deformers for corrective blendshapes.

Hopefully when this whole thing is done, I can post up the images a few months from now :D

Blubberboy [Part 1]

Next sem, I'll be teaching facial animation in class again - so I thought I might as well model another head to use as an example file [kinda getting bored with the old broken-nosed boxer model that I've been using in class for the past coupla years]. So here's Fathead - I just thought it'd be more interesting to rig/animate something with more volume and fat/muscle mass in the face, shifting around and stuff.

Modeled in around 2 hours in the office, took a bit longer than usual cos I was really being careful with the wire topology (need it to be fairly tidy if I want the nice deformations later on).

Will be updating with new posts on this guy as I move on to texturing, rigging and animating him later.

WEDDING PICS! [Part 3out of 3] KL Reception

Been meaning to post these up since a while ago, but got caught up with stuff that got in the way. Anywayz, here's the last smadgeroo of pics from the KL reception. Enjoyah! [thanks again go to Meester Jeppu for the pics!]