Sunday, October 25, 2009

T-Splines Vehiclular Design Challenge

If you're a T-Splines user, check out their new transportation modeling challenge. I was honored to be picked to be a judge. Get your entries in by November 30th.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Carleton U Rhino Workshops

Starting tomorrow I'm going to start a Rhino workshop at Carleton University Architecture, running 4 Wednesday mornings. Look up Randy Kerr if you're interested in signing up for possible future sessions.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Brazil Basics: the Matte material in studio shots

My big issue as a rendering newbie when making studio-style shots was how to get a certain background gradient or solid colour quickly and independently of lighting the actual product.

My previous Brazil tutorial showed a method that works well when looking for a reflection in the 'floor' but was a little elaborate.

To start with this little duck, here's the simple gradient environment that I want to see. It's lit only with global illumination from the environment.

Here it is with a Global Illumination environment, one of the 'Studio' HDRIs included with Brazil.

Now the gradient background is what you see, but the GI environment is providing the lighting and reflections. There is more than one way to do such 'overriding,' but in this case I combined them using a Composite Environment. The GI environment was simply plugged into the first slot and the gradient into the second.

So that the duck doesn't appear to be floating in space, I add a plane.

And finally, the plane is assigned a Matte material. It makes the surface 'invisible' but it still receives shadows (and/or reflections,) and those shadows make the duck appear to actually be sitting on the background.

Buy Brazil here.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Looking for a few Rhino instructors

I'm trying to develop a formal unofficial "Level III" 3-day modeling course using my material, and I'm looking for a few experienced Rhino instructors to give their opinion on it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Rhino View Basics

There's been an issue come up from time to time on the newsgroup with apparent confusion over how the standard viewport views in Rhino work, that the Right or Left views seem to show the "wrong" side.

The above illustrates how Rhino defines the standard view directions, and is familiar to anyone who's had to take a drafting class. If your first introduction to "drafting" is Rhino, then perhaps some explanation is in order.

The confusion comes from the fact that with something like a car or a plane, the "Left" view shows what is commonly referred to as the "Right" side, it's referenced from the point of view of someone sitting in it. That's not how Rhino works, to put it most simply it's using more general-purpose principles.

You can always make up your own views that show you the projection you want with the label you want, but this is indeed the view convention used by all CAD users in all fields. I did not get different instructions on how to make drawings from the one car designer in the faculty of my Industrial Design school, or my introductory Architecture course, or my Engineering drafting class.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Online Rhino Classes

A few years ago I taught online Rhino training classes for an American reseller(who sadly passed away and no one was able to keep his business going,) and have decided to offer them again directly myself.

I'm offering the 'standard' Level I and II Rhino training based on McNeel's curriculum, as well as a "Level III" based on my own material. The classes will typically run 3 weeks, with weekly online 'lectures' via GoToMeeting or any other convenient online communication method. Not only do you save on travel but the cost is lower still than a regular class since I don't need to provide a classroom. Read more here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Now with newfangled moving pictures

I've just released a new version of my Advanced Rhino Training CD with added video. There's about an hour of it, over three dozen clips. It doesn't replace the text but compliments it. I'm trying to find the best way to post samples online and if I try YouTube it seems like it randomly does or doesn't enable high-quality video, so apologies if this is a tiny blurry mess. If you'd like to see what the videos actually look like, you can download this 116MB self-executing demo with over 100 pages of content.