Thursday, 7 July 2011

The Death of Mudbox Hub

Made a decision this morning, a one I've been putting off for over a year. I've not been a big person who visits forums for about 2 years now. So I am giving someone the chance to take over as I simply don't have the time or inclination to run it anymore. To be blunt it makes no difference to me if it survives or not although I would be a little sad to see the forum go and vanish into internet oblivion as it not only gets a lot of hits still and ranks high in Google but was the 1st post Autodesk buyout forum dedicated to Mudbox. (It was created simply as the Mudbox community asked time and time again for a dedicated forum once again....never as a ego trip because as my wife would tell you my ego can be big enough without any help from a forum *joke*)

But before I simply killed it and switched it off I thought I would give the Mudbox community a chance to keep it going if they wish, but either way it won't be me running it. What I am not interested in is it being absorbed into another forum or site as that negates the whole idea of an independent and dedicated forum.

So if anyone does want to take over completely the Mudbox Hub forum ASAP then let me know. Now anyone who is interested should move fast as I am not dicking around on this and don't want to waste any time on it. I simply do not have the time or inclination to run that place anymore. It had a lot of firsts that I'm a bit proud of....for example it was only the 2nd 3D place online to open a subscription streaming service, the 1st plug-ins for Mudbox were made available there including MudWalker which has since spawned a plethora of clones. After the massive video tutorial dump I did a month or so back I said back then that there was a very good chance it'd be the last big dump of tutorials on Mudbox ....maybe for good or for a very considerable time. I stand by that.

I feel it's time for others to do a lot of tutorials for Mudbox for free. I've done my share and about 600 other peoples share as well over the years lol. In my time in 3D I've released 13 DVD's and hundreds upon hundreds of hours of free videos and feel to be blunt that I have done more than enough for now. I could keep on going and putting a shed load of videos out but right now there is little point or even motivation for me to.

What worries me most is that now I am seen as a lecturer who happens to be an artist and freelancer...when reality I am a freelance artist who just happens to teach now and again to try and help people starting out. I'm in the process of changing my life a bit and simplifying things. While I've always worked long hours, these days there is less inclination for the majority of those hours to be for videos and emails bailing others out for free. At the age of 40 I don't feel like I want to have yet another thing to absorb time out of my life that I could be spending either with my wife and kids or actual paid work.

As I mentined earlier I have been putting off this decision for the last year and a half. Its a decision there is no going back from, and I do warn anyone I am looking at some either taking it over within days .... or it will be reduced to a simple splash page and a few videos. It makes no difference to me either way.

The deadline is Sunday 10th July. I should also point out this is NOT the domain but running the site I am talking about. The domian is worth too much to simple give away.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

FXPHD, End User Event, My Camera Stolen and other stuff

OK I can finally announce that I've been asked by FXPHD to give a term of lessons this year for them. The details can be found here: LINK : under MOD 301: Advanced Enviroment Modelling

I will say this is not just Mudbox and will use at least one other app and is not aimed at beginners. It covers the creation of the entire interior of Durham cathedral so it can be matched to a Chroma shot. Durham is unique in some ways because:

  • 1. You're not allowed to take photos of video inside so reference collection was a big problem. (One with a patent Wayne solution as usual)
  • 2. It has very few repeating elements in the cathedral interior...raging from subtle differences to total changes.
  • 3. as its to match a chroma shot the result must be photoreal

So it's fair to say this is something a bit different for me to cover.,...there will be absolutely no orcs, monsters, creepy weird thingies... or usual stuff you'd associate with the things I may be known for doing. As it is a interior of a working religious building it wouldn't be very polite to smother it in monsters.

I'm just back from Holland where I lectured on my short 'Of Gods & Men pt1' at the end user event in Utrecht and then had some one on one training in Mudbox to give someone yesterday. The lectures were both full rooms and went well. The social side of EUE was rather good as well this year. I met many old friends and a few new ones.

I also on the day travelling there managed to get my camera bag with my 550D, sigma 30mm 1.4 lens, 14mm prime and Sankor anamorphic setup stolen at Almere train station. So if you are offered this cheap in Holland there's a damn good chance its mine. It wasn't insured.... and chances of getting it back will probably be zero so as such any work on Of Gods & Men Pt 2 will have to wait until I can afford a few one. That may be a while.

I got so sick of the sight of OGAM by the time I declared pt 1 done that I right now feel like I never want to see the dam thing ever again. It really was project insanity in many ways as the whole thing was not just a step but a massive bounding leap outside my comfort zone. It would have been the easiest thing in the world to have done something crawling with nasty monsters with a night /blue colour grade. but where is the fun in doing that? Although there is both a horror film and a thriller film I have had in my head for ages I would like to make at some point.

I grew to hate the fact that OGAM started taking on a life of its own which added no end of pressure to the situation. So much so that I made a decision that if/ when I do either pt 2 or anything else I will not say a word to anyone outside my family until it is done.

But bottom line is it was made on a budget of £25 and 95% totally on my own.

[EDIT]Ok sorry guys but I'm simply not happy enough with the results to put my name to them, so I've locked down the video and removed the link. What I didn't like is the hype that started all on its own, this is something I certainly didn;t want. But either way simply too many things went wrong in too short a time to put out the quality I could have. Those of you that saw it in the 24 hours that it was up and live hopefully realise how many barriers it broke new ground in. (3.36 billion polygons worth of skeltons without instances on a single machine is pretty revolutionary I think its safe to say) who knows....maybe one day I'll remake it and finish it in a way I'm happy with. To everyone else, sorry but its my name that stuck on this and the buck stops with me no matter what went wrong behind the scenes. Although I remain happy with the shots that were 100% CGI with no plates that no one spotted. ;) [/EDIT]

Everything that could go wrong did..... could list all the things but I doubt anyone would believe all that shit could go wrong in a single 2 month period.

For me the greatest things to come out of it were the apps, tech, plugins and scripts I wrote either to help with it...or that are nearly ready now but weren't while making it. They aren't things I have any plans on selling at any point as to be truthful until I get my life back on track I need every edge over my competitors I can get.

Making it took me to the edge of sanity and back again so I don't have great feelings about the experience.