Thursday, 14 July 2011

Captains log....Stardate: Who Gives a Shit

I'm feeling a bit under the weather at the moment so excuse my somewhat piss take title for this couldn't think of another one I liked better lol. I've got a couple of bits and pieces of news / clarification I want to pass on to do with Mudboxhub and the hundreds of hours of vids I've put out for Mudbox.

If my tone seems abrupt in this post it's down to me feeling like 7 kinds of shit right now, plus for some stuff there is no easy way to say it.

1st Up Mudbox Hub:

From some point next week Mudboxhub will be changing hands outside of my control. I'm handing it over to someone else to run and maintain as I simply don't have the time any more to spend on it. Autodesk were given 1st refusal on it and wanted only the videos (which I want to keep control of....but more of why I do later), as I was about to close it, a friend asked to take it over who has a fair old bit of experience in running 3D fact he runs one of the oldest 3D forums on the internet. Whereas up till now Autodesk have always had the ability to contact me should a user for example post something from a beta in public that wasn't supposed to be posted and ask for it to be removed, that's going to be a bit harder as the person taking it over isn't on their speed dial I think lol. Although my 1st priority was keeping the hub open if at all possible for people as long as it was under terms I agreed with. It will remain a separate forum and won't be swallowed up into any other. will be taken over by Cris Robson (no relation) from and a team of mods. There are big plans for it... I should also point out I have not 'sold it' no money has changed hands as MudboxHub isn't 'Wayne Robson' but the user base and as such I wouldn't have felt right selling it. Even though it's worth a bit of dosh for its domain alone and I am flat broke right now lol.

About those videos.....

Just a bit of clarification really as it seems some people think I was either joking or just talking things up when I said the last batch of videos were my final freebies for Mudbox (and probably other applications as well)...I meant it. Just tonight I was asked by a good mate in 3D "Oh but your planning on doing them again thought at some point though aren't you right?". The short answer is no. It's time for others to do what I've done for Mudbox and time for me to move to one side and make a bit of room for them. Hopefully these people don't take the next year and a half just talking about it. It would be nice if some of the many people I trained started putting out things of their own as well. This does not mean I'm switching to another app, simply that I'm sick to death of being limited to the models I do as 90% of the time they'll end up either on a DVD, in an article or a bloody time-lapse or recreated live at an event or on sight teaching gig. So it'll be nice to open the floodgates a bit and tackle some far longer model times and some far more complex pieces in time. The more you teach, the less time you have for your own models and ideas. As I hit 40 yrs old in may I thought the time was right.

Plus I am also sick to death of certain people constantly backbiting... Unlike someof then I'm not a 20 something with too much testosterone. I'm a grown man with a family and funnily enough my family are far more important to me than the opinions of the user base of any application. So I'm refusing to let time with my family be eaten away by that... all be it partly my own fault for being a pig headed old bastard.

Apart from this there are a number of things outside of 3D both good and bad taking ip a lot of my time. So those have also had to be taken into consideration. But the overwhelming feeling that when you become known for a application its almost like a marriage. You get tied to it for better or for worse unless your very careful (or very lucky). So even looking at a rival application can provoke the wrath of the user base as I know from personal experience. Now as a freelance artist I don't have the luxury these days of discounting any app from my pipeline. Although I've had to for some time because the moment you get used to a new way or working it is unfair to teach people the 'old way' you used. But I still use Mudbox, certainly there will be times when I'll do entire sculpts in the future in Zbrush or another sculpting app simply to show potential clients that I can use both apps equally as well. That's not an artistic decision, it's a financial one in that being able to demonstrate equal skills in either application makes me more marketable. But yes given the choice I'd still use Mudbox every time as since about 2008 its been the application that's right for me. (I also used it when it 1st came out for a few years as well).

So to outline there's no ulterior motive to this, no one has fell out with anyone else or anything like that. I simply need to simplify my life and take it in the direction I (for once) want it to go. That's direction just isn't conducive to being tied to MudboxHub or doing a shed load of free videos.

As long as FXPHD want me to do courses I'll do them as my sole output for video tutorials outside of live events. If and when the time comes when they decide they don't need any more chances are that'll be it.

The Kill Switch:

Some of you know about this already when I've mentioned it in the past, but as I know some of you go nuts if you don't know something, and if I dont it'll only mean more bloody emails I'll outline what it is. I have always kept a very tight reign on my videos for a variety of reason.

Firstly as I don't want them ending up on some sites that are basically just places to stick a shit load of adverts. Bottom line: if I put a video out for free and am not making a penny out of it, I don't see why I should let others make anything out of them either.

I've always had on both MudboxHub and on what I called a 'kill switch' that allowed me to remove any or all videos should I feel that they either were no longer relevant or simply portrayed my quality of work in a light that was in fact costing me work. It's as simple as that. nothing dramatic.

What inspired it was times when you come across a video by an artist from years back and realise that it bears no resemblance to how they work or the quality of their work now. A month is a long time for a artist...years are even longer. I never want it so videos recorded in 2004 turn up in 2030 for example lol. So if you're a person who records your own free tutorials, then I suggest you may want to implement the same thing. A video you love today may make you want to crawl into a small hole in a few years time lol.

So there you go , a very wordy blog that's hopefully sorted stuff out. The hub will be no longer under my control, the free Mudbox videos cow has dried up and hopefully you all understand my reasons to some degree.

I would also ask that for the love of all that's holey please stop sending me emails of Mudbox question that are A) covered in the help files you probably didn't even search through B) on Google in a simple search or C) coz' you can't be arsed to wait for Autodesk to reply to an email this very nano second.

This may sound mean but I don't have time to spend typing out complex and often lengthy answers to questions. Every time I do that I'm either not making money while I'm answering the email or not spending the time with the kids. I am not some sort of extended tech support for Mudbox users. Autodesk has a well stocked and well funded tech support department and they reply as speedily as they can. This does sounds nasty and the tone no doubt does as well. But I can't afford to spend my life answering emails as if I did I'd starve and so would my family. If I'm at a live event teaching by all means its then fair game to ask as many questions as you like.

So yes I am serious about making some major changes to my life as you can see. I'm probably the 1st person who is known as a tutor who is purposely sabotaging their own career lol. But it has to be done and there is no painless way to do it. But people always love stuff for nothing so I expect you all to have forgotten about it in a week or two ;)

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Stolen Camera Gear List

Some of you will have remembered that when in Holland I got my camera bag stolen outside the railways station in Almere's Music district. Well I've finally managed to round up the whole list and provided serial numbers where I can. So keep your eye open for this stuff as none of it was insured. Oh and if you do catch the thieving bastards who stole it..... pass on a few swift hard kicks from me.

A Hama camera bag containing:

Canon Remote
Sigma AF 30mm 1.4 EX DC lens (serial: 2105569)
58mm ND Fader filter

Sankor Anamorphic lens + custom made red lens and body clamps

3 x LP4 canon batteries for Canon 550D
Four 8GB class 6 memory cards (various makes)

Canon EOS 550D
Serial is one of these numbers I got from its original box I still have.....(not sure one which is the serial)
4463B009[AA] / 210732228383 / 216674036646

Numerous cables
Blue Old style canon EOS camera strap (very unusual!).
White gorilla pod tripod thingy