Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The Lost Reel

Back in August 2012 I started work on what I thought would be my next demo reel, but as luck would have it, I was offerd the job as 3D Lead at Screen Scene VFX, Dublin.  So it was it was never finished past a rough block out models phase...   Now because my next reel at the middle to end of next year wont have any of this stuff in it most probably (with possible exception of the durham cathedral interior and exterior lol), it seemed  a shame that no one would ever get to see it.

So this is the demo reel that never was...  I figured it may be useful to show people that prior to working in Dublin that I hadn't been entirely sitting on my arse doing nothing lol.  In fact its probably about only 30% of what I had been up to, but more of that at a later date hopefully.

Now you will notice that the music for this is nomt somehting I have pullled off my play list I work to, but rather something I wrote , recorded and played myself.  There's a few reasons for this, firstly it seemd a bit rich to bitch about people breaking copyright for my dvd's and 'derivative' versions of creatures of mine (by both hobbyists and professoinals over the years), and then basically rip off recording artists.  Its not as if I cant write an record my own music! I've been a muscian since I was 8 and recording since I was 18.   Also the 2nd and most vital reason that many may want to bare in mind for their own reels is that youtube and the like are getting more and more strict with what you can and cannot use for a video you upload.  More and more videos are either blocked in certain countries, or banned entirely simply due to the choice of soundtrack.

By using either somethin gyou have wrote and recorded yourself or something you have the rights to use you nicely side step this illegality and your reel is then 'legit'.  To put this into perspective, if every demo reel that contains music by recording artists without the right to do so was banned over night, probably 80% of the reels in 3D would disapear.  That would take some of the best 3d reels ever seen and in some cases short films as well. 

But your probably thinking 'hey I cant afford to get the rights to music just for a reel' or maybe 'but thats far in the future' or even 'I cant play or record music for shit'.  there are plenty of copyright free sites that specalise in suplying music for people to use either free of charge or for a very small fee...or failing that maybe find a unsigned band and ask them... most will bite your hand off for the exposure!  If your really desperate then you can always head over to and use any one of the shed load of music I have wrote and recorded in more styles than is sane over the last 2 decades for free.

I know most people wont because they either dont like the music or simply dont want another artist's name credited (even for the music) on their reel. But the offer stands take it or leave it.  (As I make music only for 'me' and to relax then its no big deal as I have no intention of ever making my living from it. )   But either way this is  a point thats worth thinking about and its a bit rich for us as an industry of artists to bitch on about people ripping US off when we rip off OTHERS who make the music.  This goes euqally for fields outside of 3D / 2D such as DSLR film making etc etc....    But feel free to go 'LALALALA I'm not listening' as the industry usually does when this sort of thing comes up lol.

Monday, 31 December 2012

Review of 2012

Every new years eve for all of my adult life I have done the same thing.  No I don't mean go out and get hammered (usually I stay in and don't drink, this year I'm being forced to go out for a single hour and consume at least one pint lol), I take stock of what I have actually achieved or failed to achieve in the year.
So first of what have I actually managed to do or achieve this year?   Well I've not exactly been hammering out doodles and speed sculpts this year as I've been snowed under with work for a lot of it.  This year has been more about work and now that I am 41 and officially 'middle aged' trying to get my chaotic life into some semblance of order.

In order from last January the 1st here's the things I've done that I am allowed to talk about (the biggest of which I can't till probably middle of next year).

  • ·         Did a major paradigm shift and put out a reel of full 3d photoreal mattes  and scenes to show I do more than just sculpt (This proved to be a very good idea in the long term)
  • ·         Taught the MOD 302 digital environments course for FXPHD that covered more 3d scenes than anyone with common sense ever would including the entire exterior of Durham cathedral.  (I'd already done the photoreal interior the previous year.)
  • ·         On the 16th January I made every DVD I owned the copyright (over 46 1/2 hours worth) for legally free for all on   It seemed the right thing to do and allowed me to clear out my life a bit.
  • ·         Put out the 'Wayne's Zbrush hair to Spines' max script on the 28th January that I knocked up in about 20 mins for Zbrush users to enable to have a free non paid way to get Zbrush hair into 3d max.  This went down as well as a pork chop at a Jewish wedding with some Zbrush users predictably lol...although many were truly grateful as well.
  • ·         Texturing in Mudbox article for 3d artist magazine's February issue.
  • ·         Put a few personal ghosts to res with the release of  my short video on my per art career as a professional escapologist.  Something I had been putting off for 20 years and it was an honest and frank view of things from my perspective back then and not an ego quest as some may have assumed in advance.
  • ·         Did an FXGuide interview on my time as an escape artist and how it helped make me the sort of artist (and person) I am today.
  • ·         Another article for 3d artist magazine that I can't remember the title of.
  • ·         Put out in public every song I have wrote and recorded since 1995 for free.  They cover just about every style and are what i do for 'me' to relax.  period..that's all.
  • ·         Showed the hand sculpted liquids screen capture I did in Mudbox for a client that raised a few eyebrows.   (Some refused to believe they were in fact done in Mudbox and by hand until the DVD I released a month ago came out showing how...which I take as flattery).
  • ·         Created a voice controllable plug-in for Mudbox for my own personal amusement (never meant for release, but rather just to see if it could be done).
  • ·         On the 29th March I closed's forum, it had been the 1st dedicated Mudbox forum on the internet since Mudbox was bought by Autodesk from Skymatter.  Reasons for closure had been that it was dead since I handed over its day to day running to another person.  Plus most people only came for the free stuff anyway lol.
  • ·         Put out a sort of semi reel of the shots done for FXPHD  / mike seymour short film 'joan of arc'
  • ·         Created the Logo for Danny John Jules film Bucky in about 2 hours as last minute favour
  • ·         Created the poster for Danny John Jules film Bucky in about 1 hour as yet another  last minute favour lol
  • ·         Trip to Vancouver to lecture at Anomaly (I had a great time and would love to repeat it), got to meet some truly inspirational people and answer some 'disinfo' that had been doing the rounds over there..face to face with those who asked.
  • ·         Released for free (finally some may say) ReDucto and also the update to the original pipeline tool MudWalker entitled MudWalker X (MudWalkerXX is coming next year some time in 2013 BTW).
  • ·         CGPHD interview goes live in May.
  • ·         Bought a canon 5dMk2 (and fried the memory card the same day lol)
  • ·         ReDucto update
  • ·         load of hard surface sculpted nonsense
  • ·         Another model for Mike Seymour  / FXPHD for a short piece and advised on displacement theory for one of the background fundamentals videos
  • ·         My work was seen by between 4-5 BILLION people at the London Olympics in a 'unspottable' ( the words of others not me)digital double for Jesse Owens.  (Hopefully I can now fucking mention this as they didn't want anyone to know at the time and I sort of put my foot in it.  but as no emails or letters have been answers by either LCOG or the clients I was working for I assume my contract clauses still stand and as its now well and truly in the public domain I can actually fucking mention it now eh guys???..although an email would have been nice).
  • ·         August start work on my next demo reel which is never finished because.....
  • ·         I start as the 3D lead at Screen Scene in Dublin on something I cannot mention yet but is very, very cool and I honestly believe once released people will never believe has been done with the small team we had.
  • ·         Released my 1st proper DVD in years for CMI fx which was a up to date beginners guide to Mudbox.

So what will 2013 bring?  Well after 41 years on this planet I've stopped guessing. However, 13 always has been my lucky number along with 5, so May next year should be awesome then  lol