Thursday, 13 August 2020

Me Playing my resonator after some custom work to it


Click on the above to see the video of me playing that was recorded last week over at Steel Town Music after they had fitted a national slimline pickup and done some custom work on it I wanted done. I seriously cannot reccomend them enough! The tone is straight into the shops amp with whatever settings the last person left on it and whatever acoustic tone the cameras mic picked up. It is literally impossible to make this guitar sound bad when you play it.
I'll be recording some videos with a few more 'complex' pieces being played on it once I have a few moments here at home with my studio setup. we kept it to simple stuff for the benifit of those who didnt have braod musical knowledge lol. Long live the Gretschenstein Mark 1.

Monday, 3 August 2020

GAEA - A Practical Guide (Gaea version 1.2 edition)

This is a brand new version of my popular tutorial video thats been updated and fully re-recorded for Gaea 1.2.  With over 7 1/2 Hours of video this covers every single node in Gaea with full explanation of what they do and many examples of how to get the best out of them.   ErosionStudio is also covered and the video comes with the many Gaea files created during the recording process.

It also features 2 main projects, a simple snowy mountain range and complex desert scene.

Perfect both for those new to Gaea who need to get up to speed fast, and for those with experience of Gaea who wish to update their knowledge of the new additions in 1.2.
Brought to you by Wayne Robson, an artist with over 25 years of experience working at very high levels in Films, TV, Games and private tutoring.

Those who have bought the old version in the last 2 weeks for todays date, will get this version free of charge.


The Interface
Primitives Nodes
The Post Process Stack
Adjustment Nodes
Filter Nodes
Warp Nodes
The Erosion Node (part 1)
The Erosion Node (part 2)
LookDev Nodes
Cartography Node
Light Node
Snow Ice and Floe Nodes
Data Map Nodes
Color Nodes
Output  & Utility Nodes
Erosion Studio

Simple Project  - Snowy Mountain Range
Main Project - Complex Desert Scene

Monday, 13 July 2020

New Song & Video: Racists Liars and Thieves

This is a highly political song that I sat on for 10 months since I 1st wrote it last October, before recording last week.  I am quite aware some may not like the political themes in this video one bit and that it may even cost me some friends.  So I really was in two minds about releasing it, but in my opinion in the end was that any musican who is afraid to stand up for what they believe in is no musician at all. But to be 100% clear: I stand by every single word in this song.

But please bare in mind that while it may pertinent for other countries, it was wrote primarily about the british political system and right leaning media over here.   Where the right of the political system and media have shouted down anything in the middle ground or the left side of politics for years.  When in reality all sides are used in a political game, because nothing fears politicians (of any side) more than a united populous.

Gear used:

Faith Venus acoustic,
Gretsch Alligator resonator
An Old bass I bought for £20 years back
C1 condenser mic
recorded on a Boss BR800 digital 8 track and mixed and mastered in Reaper.

The slide guitar tone waas got in a rather roundabout way. I 1st miked it up using my condenser mic (I would have also used  my SM57 but I only have one mic stand lol.) then I added to this in reaper a MXR dynacommp, 2 delays and reverb.  This gives it a slightly 50's style, slighty overdriven sound.

The acoustics were double tracked with one being a direct out from the guitar to a Fishman preamp and the ther being from the condenser mic.  Vocals, all the harmonies etc were recorded seperately as I didn't want it to sound 'too perfect' using a plugin.... and of course no autotune.  The harmonies were actually an accident as I did 6 vocal takes and while producing and mastering it had a thought 'I wonder what it sounds like with all 6 voices!'  I quite liked it but didn't want it over the entire tune so kept it to a few select areas.

Vocally this is the 1st time I've done any singing since March so my voice is a bit rougher round the edges than it used to be.

All guitars were tuned to open D by the way.

So what is it about?

Well.... its pretty straight forward (and a side note if you are politically on the right and find the content offensive...good.... its a good job you didn't hear the 1st version I wrote back in October it was FAR more biting.)   It basically is pointing out here in the UK the huge right wing media bias and the fact that people are being lied to every day to keep people at each others throats. To keep tyinto make racism acceptable.  Personally I don't trust any politician (no matter what flavour) as they are all either racists, lairs or thieves (hence the title).  It also touches on the fact that just because a voice is loud, does not make it correct.

The video was done with some long hours in after FX as I wanted to try and do something different for this one (plus the kenitic type idea may end up being the default for any future music videos so you don't have to look at my ugly face.)

Now I have that song out of my system I can move onto my next one waiting to be recorded......  not political in any way...but all kinds of fucked up shit in the lyrics lol.

Friday, 3 July 2020

Speed Sculpt

A quick sculpt knocked out, I did a bit yesterday evening and the rest just before my dinner.
Mainly done to try approaching my sculpting a different way.

Also every time I put out a sculpt like this where I play with and break human proportions people seem to hate it lol. ...this is 20 plus years...So yes his nose is suposed to be too big and his eyes are supposed to be too far up the head etc

.. and this is for over 20 plus years...So yes his nose is suposed to be too big and his eyes are supposed to be too far up the head etc, those are not mistakes, those were preplanned.   ;)

Rendered in 3Ds Max with Vray

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

World of Warcraft Voidwalker Re-Design

Its finally done!

My re-design of the World of Warcraft Voidwalker.

There were so many times I nearly gave up on this one.... I decided to redo the entire environment of the scene yesterday at the 11th hour as I wasn't happy with the one I had spent a week making. This is the heaviest scene I've done in quite a few years... 65 million polys in the 3Ds Max viewport and pushed 3Ds Max and my machine to its very limit. There were a few times I was convinced smoke was going to pour out any second lol.

All textures were handpainted. Hand sculpted (ie no use of brusshes, stencils etc) in a combination of Mudbox & Zbrush, rendered in 3Ds Max 2020 using VRay and Phoenix for the smoke and fire.

So I'm having a day or 3 off before going to complete another model of mine I've had sitting half done for the last week.

I was going to wait until tomorrow to post this so it didnt get lost ... but though 'screw it'. I've enclosed a few untextured renders for you guys as well.

John Wick:
"People keep asking if I'm back and I haven't really had an answer, but yeah, ....I'm thinking I'm back!"

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Cartoony Mess Around.

This is a little cartoony style nonsense I've been messing around with between sessions working on the Voidwalker.  Anyone who knows me, know I hate doing hair (which is why 99% of my sculpts have no hair). Mainly as I've never found a solution that I felt comfortable with. However that seems to have changed with Ornatrix.   The model is rendered in 3Ds Max with V-Ray & Ornatrix for hair.

The actual model was also animated (not that I can afford a render farm to render it out mind you!)  But basically its a little bit of something different from the uual monsters, creatures and envirnoments from me.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

The Watcher

So as I now finally have my 'mojo' back creativly after 7 or 8 years of dry spell, I tought I would drag out this model from about  8 or so years back that never got textured.  So I hand painted all the textures and created the scene and lit it (in VRay in 3Ds Max  BTW) in 23 hours... not 23 hours straight you undertand! Thats including sleep and meals and looking after y daughter and stuff lol

Its a 4k PBR texture set, SSS skin shader  and te hair (which you can barely see) isn't hair at all but geo /splines as I was lazy and I REALLY HATE doing hair in any 3D package lol.

yes...there iwll be more models /renders etc but I'm going to have a day or 2 off 1st. BTW I will also be taking part in Autodesk's 'Meet the Experrts' over on the area on Thursday 7th May (tomrrow at the time or writing.)

World of Warcraft Voidwalker redesign (teaser)

I'm on doing a personal redesign of the Voidwalker from World of Warcraft (wehich is keeping me sane during lockdown on an evening).  Here's a quick render of it.

All textures are hand painted. I'll add another more detailed post when I am finished.  I still have some shader tweaks to do and the final ighitng/ scene (which this isnt).  I've also had a request from someone at Epic Games to stick it in UE4 as well (so that is now on my todo list. AlthoughI should add thhis request was in a personal capacity from them.)

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

New music video: Locked Up, Down, In & Out

So yep a third music video for a song, this time one I wrote myself. All instruments are played by me, recorded by me, mixed by me and the music video is by... yes you guessed it! By me! LOL (Not that there is a lot of options while in lockdown on day 32.)

Every shot in this video has a meaning, it contains a complex puzzle... as a clue keep an eye on the doors and windows (and maybe a few other things). There may also be a couple of bits where I take a sideways glance at the world. It concerns where we are as a world right now and where we may end up if we are not very, VERY careful.

It sounds deceptively easy to play when in actuality it was a massive pain in the arse. Originaly the 12 string was in an Open C tuning... but that was near impossible to play with by any of the other instruments they way I wanted them to sound. So I changed the whole thing to an Open D tuning.... 1st take of the 12 string was spot on...but matching to it was NOT easy at all.

It went through a weird journey really... it started out sounding like Led Zep 3 area Led Zeppelin...then morphed into late 80's Bon Jovi...then back into a Led Zep thing...the Hurdy Gurdy drone note was added at the very last minute as I felt it was missing something, but wasn't sure what. Then insperation struck.

For those interested in the specifics the instruments used were:

A Hurdy Gurdy I 'borrowed' from my brother about 6 months back and never returned

A 12 string hand made Jim Deacon 12 string acoustic guitar

A 6 String Faith 'Naked' Venus 6 string acoustic

An Ozark Mandolin

All were recorded using a C1 condenser mic. The whole thing was done as usual on a budget of nothing using only what I had lying around on drives etc.

I am also sculpting again 'for me' for the 1st time in anout 7 or so years with any enthusiasm! I promise I will show some of the stuff I've been sculpting 'just for me' (ie not for clients) soon.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Making Another music video while in CornoaVirus lockdown... in 6 hours

Well here's another music video.This time I knocked it up in 6 hours yesterday using a load of public domain footage.  Now as a disclaimer, if I wasn't in lockdown (and actually had a small budget for this) this would have been done a LOT differently.  It was hard as hell trying to maintain a cohesive narrative structure to the video on this one using only what was public domain.... I think its doing fine till just before the halfway point if I was cirtisising myself on this.

It's a very old song that has no discernable author although it 1st surfaced in about 1929 having been coverd by Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway and even Hugh Laurie.  I have changed a number of the lyrics and all instruments, vocals recording, production and editing is mine.  

I personally think its a bit weaker than John the Revelator I put up the other day, but I am working within some pretty heavy restraints on these.  (Hey! Least I'm being honest!)  So will I do yet another one? Well to be honest I have nothing planned and it would ean going back over the hundreds of songs I've recorded over the last 30 odd years.

Basically it depends how bored I get.....

Saturday, 28 March 2020

Making a Music Video in Less Than 48 hours (Covid-19 Lockdown)

So it seems the whole world is on lockdown in our houses.  No doubt we are all getting to the stage where we need to keep ourselves amused.  I can't really record any tutorials as my daughter (who is 11) is also on lockdown and I'm pretty sure none of you want hear her playing 'Baby Shark' in the background of paid tutorials.  So that side is on hold for the current time until the Coronavirus passes over.

Some of you may know that outside of the 'day job' I'm also a musician and composer and play a lot of instruments and studied music theory and compositiong as well as musical production. I've also been playing guitar since I was 6 (so thats 43 years coming up).  I very rarely mix my day job and my music. One reason is that I don't feel comfortable spending a shit pile of money to render stuff out for it.


I decided a couple of days ago to take one f the songs I recorded last year and make a music video for it. The catchs were that:

  1. I'm on lockdown so no videoing things outside.
  2. It must use only what I have available on my hard drives.
  3. It must cost me nothing (Because like the rest of people who freelance I'm currently not working and bleeding money).
  4. All footage thats new must be shot on my phones camera (as I sold my broadcast quality ones a couple of years back as I needed the money to live).
  5. No footage can be 'stolen' at all.
  6. It has to be produced only on a single machine with no render farms.
While it says on the video it took less than 48 hours, the actual figure is well under 36 hours from top to bottom.  Now I'm the 1st to admit it won't win any awards but it kept me amused for a couple of days. If I had time and a budget theres a lot of it I would change.

It my version of a song written in 1930 by blues legend Blind Willie Johnston called 'John the Revelator'. ...and yes that is me I didnt use autotune.

I've repurposed some VFX 3D stuff I did years back and also (for the very astute) some clips from my aborted short film ‘Of Gods and Men’ thats not seen the light of day since 2011.  Now I've covered that whole debacle many times so I don't need to go over it again.  But I have to admit it was nice to finally be able to find a use for some of the plates I did for that.

Ok now to the music side.


Acoustic Guitars: Faith Naked Venus & Fishman Platinum Pro Acoustic preamp
Mandolin: Ozark Custom
Bass: A cheap bass I bought for £50 years back with VERY old strings.
Microphone: C1 Condenser mic
Mandolin Pickup / Mic: Joe Myers ‘The Feather’ & Fishman Platinum Pro Acoustic preamp

The DAW I used was Reaper by the way with various plugins for compressors etc and EQ's  with the video editing done with a mix of Premier and After FX (not for any weird reason other than it worked faster that way in this case.)

So there you go...... done in less than 36 hours with zero budget while on lockdown.  Imagine what I could do if I had an actual budget PMSL.

A funny story about all this:

Now you may notice in places the vocalsync is out...there is a funny story about that!

I was working away and thought ‘ fuck ....this music needs a bit of work!'. 

So I went to sort it out , only to realise I had been working on a very old demo version I recorded back in november and not the final version.  Now at this point the video was nearly done, so I had to re-edit as best I could to the new version and replace the audio. That is why some of the vocal sync is out... as its synced to a different version of the track lol.

So will I do another one?

well..... I'd like to yes, I do have another track done at the same time last year that I rather like, but getting a video to fit that would be a far bigger endeviour.  So in that case I may have to see who I know who has footage in an 1920/30's/40's style ideally with old hospitals in it.  But we'll see.... It depends how bored I get really.

Monday, 2 March 2020

NEW Commercial Tutorial Release: Creating a landscape Auto Material in UE4

Today I release a new commercial tutorial. It covers how to create a landscape Auto Material in Unreal Engine 4. Once your done, you will have a material that will automaticaly place your textures and foliage without the need for painting layers.  While it can use textures created from Either World Machine or Gaea, the examples shown here are only using the height map for the landscape.

It is available in two versions, one with, and one without the project files.  There will be a follow up to this in a month or two taking things to a different stage, where this will be required viewing.  It is also the 1st time in over 20 years I have done a video that gives you homework at the end. ;)

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

So I worked on a Sodastream advert for the Superbowl

So I did a bit of work on the Sodastream advert that was shown at the Superbowl.  I worked on the helmets, I'll not go into tooo much detail for obvious reasons.  Modelled in 3Ds Max 2020 and then exported to Maya and rendered with Arnold.

...and before anyone says... why Yes it does bare a resemblance to the Film 'The Last days On Mars' I worked on back in 2012/2013 as 3D supervisor.  I'll stick a few screenshots below. But remember folks.... stuff like this is a TEAM EFFORT, I'm just one tiny bit in ahuge puzzle.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Some doodles in Gaea

Some screenshots from some doodles I've done this afternoon quickly in Gaea due to sheer boredom.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

So what have I actually achieved in the last ten years?

So after yesterdays blog post I got thinking.....what did I actually achieve in the 10 years from January 2010 to 31st December 2019? So here we go in no particular order.

Still one of my favorite photos of me lecturing
  1. My work seen at the London 2012 Olympics by a third of the planet (I will never have my work hit as many people ever again.)
  2. Taught and lectured all over the world from Las Vegas, to Vienna Science Academy to Berlin to Iceland (the country not the supermarket lol), Sweden and beyond.
  3. I worked at the top of the tree in both Film VFX and computer games with highlights being MPC Montreal and Rockstar North in Edinburgh. as Lead lighting artist and Senior Environment artist respectively.
  4. I worked for 2 1/2 years for Chaos Group on the documentation for many version of VRay, responsible for a great many of the examples across multiple platforms.
  5. I provided 46 1/2 hours of free video training (I stopped counting in 2012... so its probably a lot higher now). Released a lot of paid tutorials on subject from sculpting to environment techniques to The Unreal Engine.
  6. I had 2 strokes, 2 complete mental breakdowns and had to deal for once with my long standing clinical depression.  I did and I'm glad I managed it.
  7. Many articles for trade magazines (I used to enjoy writing them until the mudbox star started to lower in the sky.)
  8. Wrote all sorts of apps and plugins with the most famous being MudWalker which was then cloned a million times often by people who didnt realise where it started  (and its now a standard feature in most workflows.) Shame I never made a penny from it lol.  Also my app Reducto which I've had in mothballs now for a number of years.  There was also of course the vector displacement shader I wrote....and so many scripts etc for clients and places I've worked
  9. You name it and I've probably sculpted it or modelled it at some point for a client.   Although I sculpt a lot less thee days and not as a rule for 'fun' as I used to.
  10. my 'crazy expreiments' such as project sureat and the facial mocap system I made were all fun and cutting edge at the time.
  11. Done all sorts of stuff for clients all over the world in all sorts of fields fom medicine to film, games to architecture and just about everything its possible to make a 3D model for or light or render .
  12. I released a shit pile of albums in the 2010's.  Before this the last albums I'd put out were in the early 90's.  I've put out 7 from 2012, with a classical album I've been working on since 2012 and a few others 'in the pipe'.
  13. Worked on films (more than I can say due to NDA's) and a fair bit of TV stuff (with another debuting in the new year).
  14. I made the animated short 'Monsters!' in June 2013 on a single machine.  It had a somewhat heavy message.
  15. I got married.
  16. I killed off my sucessful YouTube series of  'Waynecasts'.  Mainly as the exagerated version of me in the videos was getting mixed up for the real me.  I often think about resurrecting them in some way.
  17. 7.8 million views on videos of mine on Youtube and Vimeo.
  18. I started painting on canvas again and have sold my paintings to a few countries.  It provides a nice balance to the art I did in the digital world.  I still take on commissions
  19. I wrote and relased a mobile game in a single day when I ws bored. Called Flappy Dildo (a rip off of flappy birds) it was released and banned from the Google Play Store in less than an hour. Something I am strangely proud of lol.
  20. I went from just playing guitar to playing, mandolin, Banjo, Piano, Bass, Ukelele, 3 and 4 string cigar box guitar and I'm currently learning another instrument. I find it keeps my brain sharp.
  21. I released the Nuke for 3D artists video series for free.
  22. I've taught not only artist who woprk in the industry now, but the ones who taught the guys that taught them.  I've helped form 3D courses at various universities over the years... which isnt bad for a numpty from Consett.
  23. I've lived in more countries than I care to count for work  with notable entries being Montreal, Dublin & Edinbugh.
  24. I've been doing 3D now for about 25 years (ish) which is more than half my life.  Somehow I am still not a millionaire lol
  25. I've done more models and speed sculpts than I care to count.
  26. I wrote for a long time under my pen name on subjects outside of 3d and art and made quite a name for myself until I stopped. I plan on starting again.

There's probably a million things I am missing out here.... but not too bad really.  Lets see what (if anything) I achieve in the next ten years.  I honestly have no clue what ahead or any big masterplan other than keep enjoying what I do and try to make enough to eat and buy musical instruments etc.