Updating my external 3D portfolio.

I am concentrating my digital 3D portfolio, the 3D art created with Maya, Mudbox, ZBrush, Blender and the 2D software used for texturing those models, into a single portfolio hosted by Squarespace.com. That hosting system allows me to to concentrate on my portfolio of art that is not web related, meaning that I do not have to code a single part of the site.

If I were a web designer or developer then that would not be ideal. I would have a site hand-coded to show all my skills on web design and development (no, not the same thing, by the way). One thing that I like, is that I can connect this “catch it all blog” to it and repost anything from there that I want. But not automatically. Which I like better to be selective.

This blog and site is mostly for my film, my independent work. That other site is for my commercial 3D work.

Any way, here is the address to the main site: http://www.gerardovargas.digital

And here is the direct Portfolio 1 link: https://www.gerardovargas.digital/portfolio-1/

The cat is out…

Very impressive news (at least to myself)! I have been hired to teach exactly what I learned during my MFA studies, that ended at PNCA with Blender (and Krita, Audacity, KDenlive, Celtx, etc. – open source) but started at AAU with Maya (and Mudbox, ZBrush, Logic Pro, Final Cut Pro, Final Draft, etc. – proprietary software).

I get to teach (open source and proprietary soft.) at Washington State University – how to model, rig and animated assets for games and film. I do not fit in my shoes right now. What an honor!

Of course, I am also trembling since it is a new chapter and my current (7 years) experience is at public schools. It will definitely be a very different experience now.

On the Traces Project front? Well, I got my hands on two 2009 Mac Pro’s with some killer hardware that I will set as render farms. I might use it for my students, but the intention is for my film. The best part, if Mac OS is not up to date, I can go all Linux and use the ATI and the NVIDIA hardwares (two of each on each machine) with the open source I learned about and will teach my students (can I say that already??)

More to come…

Testing the sculpting module of Blender.

Here is the beginning of the sculpting for Boris. He is 105 years old in a society that have expanded life expectancy to over 150 years. Boris heads the council of elders, but is not the oldest. In fact, is one of the youngest ever to start membership at the tender age of 87 and quickly climb the ladder to the “chair”.

Blender has, once again, impressed me. Not only has its dynotopo system show that it works better than ZBrush, but it can handle all the sculpting I have thrown to it. Not once did it crashed, when ZBrush tends to crash in a few with its dyno-thingy. Nor does my  computer get as hot as it does with ZBrush. Best part, I can work in a high-poly sculpt, finish it and then bake it to a low poly mesh, all in the same file! I am not there yet, as I want to experiment with skin types and more “individualistic” features for Boris and the other characters.

One thing that I found out today, was that I can run multiple instances of Blender on my Mac and have all four main characters open, in their respective files, so when I “discover” that I like something new (found out how to make something or a better way of something else) I can head back to the other characters and fix it, keeping the pipeline active and making sure the characters are equal in quality (which they are not at this time as I just found this little nifty trick!).

Any way, here is the test render (low quality, just for the sculpt, no skin or colors of importance).

To spice the film…

I will use 2D animation inspired by phantasmagoria and Asian (will research the country of origin soon) puppeteering shows. It will give the section of historical account for the city a more “ancient” feeling, I think, and will enhance the experience.

Originally, I was thinking of using video stock and images but wanted something more “unique” or less overly-done. I feel more exited about the idea of the animation than the video.

Couple of examples of what I have in mind for inspiration (not for end result exactly);

The Adventures of Prince Achmed

Dreaming of Lucid Living 2 min trailer edit

KFP2 (Intro) – Lord Shen Backstory

Thesis proposal presentation.

Well, I finished my thesis proposal presentation on Wednesday and feel very good about it. I am now waiting to hear back from the faculty panel to adapt, revise, recreate… re- something my proposal. I imagine there is space for improvement.

From my thesis class I am also leaning on new points of view for my work from my classmates that are making me think of “off-shoots” or spin-offs for future projects. Never thought that a thesis class would help me think of future projects…

Some of my current readings are;

Who owns the future book cover, USA version.
Cover of US version, of the book by Jaron Lanier titled Who Owns the Future? A reading I am doing for my MFA studies.

Appropriation… why?

This is a prime example of how stupidly annoying it is for “artists” to appropriate other (real) artists’ works… It should be punishable by law… an apology is a easy way out of “oops, we got caught”.

Stop this!