Tuesday, 22 July 2014

"This is Bat Country!" is now out on iTunes

Out now on iTunes!

iTunes Link

Well Apple were fast off this mark this time! As after only 48 hours after submitting the album its up on iTunes for you to buy now.   Spotify, amazon and other retail outlets will follow over the coming weeks  / days, 3D Creative magazine recently called me a 'polymath'...so support your local polymath.  

Buy it, listen to it, pimp the shit out of it.... after the many free things I have done over the years, maybe it'd be a nice gesture ;)

Monday, 21 July 2014

Music time again!

The cover of my next Album 'This is Bat Country!'
I now all you lovely 3D people may not be interested, but I'm announcing that the 1st of two music albums I've been working on will be coming out soon.  The 1st Entitled 'This is Bat Country!" (The title is taken from the works of a personal hero of mine Hunter S Thompson, and has special meaning to some friends of mine).  Its an album of electronic dance music similar to my album 'Fat Funky Bastard' but ...well lets just say a bit more advanced and angry sounding...rather cutting edge in some ways in fact.  It does feature my usual complex syncopation and love of musical layering and complex harmony....

Later in the year my next classical album will be coming out, but more on that closer to the time (as I've not finished it yet, in fact it continues to grow and expand by the week!)  So that will take my count of commercial albums up to 4 with the next one and 5 when the next classical album comes out.

I should point out that the electronic stuff is what I do to relax in between the classical composing.  I should also point out something that should be very obvious already unless your rather silly, and that is that neither of these two albums have any connection with my work or the company I work for.  This is my side line  / hobby outside of 3D.

Expect 'This is Bat Country!" to land on amazon, iTunes Spotify etc in about 3-4 weeks

Friday, 20 June 2014

Some Random Thoughts

Some of these are serious, some are not. Just a few bits of advice that may prove useful to people.

  1. If you do not feed your creative side how can you expect it to be creative? Even a car needs petrol/ gas 
  2. Also I you are older than 30 and ask a stupid question I will then treat you like a five year old with brain damage from then onwards 
  3. If you are afraid to learn new things then please fuck off out of 3D as some of us are busy trying to improve things ;) 
  4. I see the aim of good software as freeing the artist not replacing them. Augmentation not replacement 
  5. Making software for idiots that automates stuff to bringing it to simply button pressing is not the answer. Innovation for innovations sake is not the answer. It must serve a purpose to the artist. 
  6. But in my view it must be sympathetic innovation and not just for the sake of 'ooh shiny things!' Hire innovators not followers of trends 
  7. If there is a trend ..I will avoid it as that means its already too popular and bordering on cliché. Break moulds prepare to piss peeps off 
  8. Facts often get in the way I a good software promo in many cases. Disturbing trend. 
  9. Developers should not wall artists I in 3d software. Allow things you can't see a reason for. As someone will. And it may be revolutionary. 
  10. Ask yourself the questions that seem too silly to count. A good artist knows when to be a child again. 
  11. Mind you a good artist should also know where the neared bar is and best pizza place as well lol 
  12. I remember a quote from a Gutenberg book on da vinci from his notebooks.. "An artist works best I a tiny room, not a large one". Which does indeed seem to be true. ..always has been for me. Maybe I should move my rig into a bathroom lol. some of best work I ever done has been done in tiny box rooms. Too large and ideas seem to lessen. 
  13. Greatest skill I ever learned was how to brainstorm with myself 
  14. I have been told I am 'weird' as I listen to techno and house music first thing on a morning at work. Really? Makes motivational sense to me. 
  15. Science backs me up on this apparently: Alcohol for inspiration, caffeine for getting shit done. 
  16. There are still a lot of stupid people out there who judge a book by its cover…. Judge people by their actions and intelligence not how they look, talk, or the religion they believe in or the country they are from. 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Interview in 3D Creative Magazine

3D Creative Magazine can be bought at this link: www.3dcreativemag.com/

I was asked a while ago to do an interview with 3D Creative Magazine, which is now out.  It covers all sorts of things, and shows that rarest of things… a photo of my rig (Which I can promise you is probably not what you expect as it uses 2 17” monitors and a sofa).   Hopefully it’s an interesting read for you all, also the art in it is now years old as anything in the past few years I would have had to get permission for and that simply would have meant waiting too long.


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

A Couple of Logo's

I did a couple of logo's for my mate Danny (Danny JohnJules) fairly recently as a favor.  As they've been seen publicly I'm pretty sure I'm ok putting them on here.  The first is the logo for Danny's TV series Easy Riders and was done in Pink and Silver as per request, the 2nd is for another project. I'm not sure if I can say what that is, so you'll have to use your imagination.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

A special Happy 70th birthday to my Dad

Painted for my Dad's 70th birthday by me.  (acrylics on canvas)

I haven't painted in twenty years... I didn't realize it had been so long.  I wanted to give my dad something special for his 70th birthday (which is on Monday 26th of may), and I realized if you really want to give someone something unique then you have to put yourself out.  So I did.

I painted this freehand over the course of 2 nights this week in acrylics on canvas using a fine, a wide and a medium brush.  It only the 3rd painted portrait I have done .... the others back in the pre 3D days were a one of Harry Houdini (which still hangs in my ex's house) and an unfinished one of Jimmy Hendrix which ended up being destroyed. I used to mainly do landscapes....

So anyway I figured it was time to round up an easel, some paints, some brushes and crack on with it.  Madly enough I wasn't worried or nervous about screwing up as I wanted to impress my dad, and so have painted this portrait a thousand times in my head over the last few months. This was IMPORTANT to me so I knew I would get it right.

For once I believed in myself, and was certain I could do it.  I'm glad I was right as my dad's face was a picture to see on Skype when I showed him this evening (as both he and I will be away ..me for my birthday on 23rd may to 26th and my dad from his birthday on the 26th for a few days.)

My mother was over the moon as although she knew I was planning on doing it she hadn't seen it.

I owe my parents everything I am and my dad especially as always been there and bailed me out of various crap over the last 42 years of my life (43 from tomorrow lol).  So I found it fitting to pay him back the one way I could from the heart.  I call it 'the gifts of my father'.

Of course now I have the painting bug back again and realized how much fun it was there's a damn good chance I'll do more.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Finally! My Last Days on Mars Reels

My 2014 Reel

After finishing my work as 3D supervisor on Last days on Mars at Screen Scene  on the 17th march 2013 I can fianlly show the two reels and some images of what I did on it including something not seen in any breakdown reels by screen scene (as it was done directly for the director on an evening and weekend).  So there have been serious additions to the main site.

My Last Days On Mars 3D Supervisor Reel

I don't actually any of this to get work now, as I work as Senior Environment Artist at Rockstar North.  The main LDOM reel of mine is as way of a thank you to every single person I had the joy of working with back then and that helped me to create such happy memories.  I count every single one as a dear friend now and if only we were allowed to tell some of the crazy stories of things that happened in those 7 months. Once I get time I may do a blog on some of the interesting facts and figures from us guys in 3D and the dev and shot times from last days on mars...if I am allowed that is.

Me sculpting the suit for the Liev Digital Doubles...total dev time till ready for rigging.. 24 hours. With all shaders and textures.
But while I can't list everyone I worked with (the comp dept get a special mention for saving our arses more than a few times and making  all us crazy loud 3D people look good).  But let me list the core 3D team that did the majority of the 3D work on The Last Days on Mars

John O Connell
The only shot I have that is fit to be shown publicly of John..here at work on the infamous 'shot 1016' that everyone worked on at one time or another

John is a good mate, someone I had met prior to screen scene at the end user event one year previously.  He is without a doubt one of the best technical artists I have worked with and always was able to knock out a Maxscript to get us out of a bind or make life easier.  A total savant at optimizing Vray (but definitely not an idiot!)  and cutting down render times.  John did all sorts on the film and was indispensable, John is the ultimate 3D Generalist.  I hope one day we get to work together again. (You'd better be blushing at this point John! ;) )

Daniel Rath

Daniel modeled and textured  the lander and the Rover, seen here on with the lander
I remember when I 1st started at Screen scene Daniel sitting at his corner desk, this serious young German lad.  He turned out to be one helluva modeler and texture artist, and had a wicked sense of humour.  Put it this way...neither myself or Glen Southern could fault a single thing he did.  The guy who single handedly modeled and textured the rover and the lander.  I would recommend him highly in the strongest terms.  He worked hard, always exceeded what was required and was great fun to be around. (Just don't mention 99 red balloons to him or garloff).

Garloff  'Mr Garloff' Langenbeck
Oh no! Deadline crashed again!

The mad German!  Garloff was responsible for just about every bit of wheel dust you see in last days on mars, a lot of the lighting, most of the blood and god alone knows what else.  One of my favorite people to be around and sort of like a younger better looking German version of me.   I am proud of the fact I learned him many new English swear words.

Garloff on with the zombie blood Simulation

He lit the best lit shot in the entire film and made it look so good out of the gate that I re-evaluated the whole lighting pipeline afterwards.  The fact that Garloff also managed to stay sane after sharing a house with me for 2 weeks is testament to his fortitude.  Definitely a person who you can enjoy your work and off times with.
..and a third shot of garloff because its such an awesome shot.

Glen Southern
Glen hard at work avoiding using shotgun again lol

Glen doesn't need an introduction at all, he's been a mate for a good few years now and I asked him to come over to help with the modelling duties as we had a serious amount of stuff to do and not enough time to train someone to do it to the required standard.  Glen and I always have a sort of short hand that meant we could get assets out between us very fast indeed.  Glens now creative director over at Egg in Dublin.  When you see the Pit...glen did one side in Zbrush I the other in Mudbox...only glen and I know which is which and we're not telling ;)  (fanboys of either app should have fun trying to work it out lol)

Yanko Slavov 'The Terminator of 3D Tracking'
Yanko at rest...as he had run out of shots to track.

A member of the infamous [NAME REDACTED]'family'  The Bulgarian Mr Yanko was the fastest and most accurate tracker I have ever worked with. Every 3d tracker has a percentage of failure... Yanko didn't..his tracks were always perfect and done at warp factor ten. Often before you even realized you needed them.  A really nice guy and he saved my bacon one night in the early hours when I got back off my flight from seeing my kids and the lock had jammed, Yanko gave me his bed so I would have somewhere to sleep while he slept on the couch.  That says everything I can about the man.  If you need the best 3D tracker... go for Yanko.  I count him as a dear friend and look forward to visiting him in Dublin again soon.

Giacomo Cavilleti
Giacomo's Lighting face

Giacomo came straight out of Aardman and into screen scene.  He cranked through lighting shots like a man possessed and I always knew if I gave a shot to him it would get done well. A great guy who likes a laugh but takes his work very seriously.  Giacomo is someone that anyone would love on their 3D team.  I do miss having lunch with him.

Martin Naydenski

Martin after 5 months of 7 days weeks and late nights..he still looks better than I did lol
If you saw a dust storm in Last days on Mars...it was martin, done on his own in impossible time limits that would make any large studio bring out a team of 30. He managed to exceeded anything anyone thought was possible. A Bulgarian particle mastermind, he now runs BottleShip FX with Hristo Velev. 

Ed Bruce and Glen pretending to understand what Martin is doing.... I swear it was black magic somehow.

Ben Klimmeck

Ben had the distinction of working on both the screen scene LDOM crew and the directors crew over the road.   Ben is a hardcore production 3d guy with some good skills and the ability to get shit done well.  He was also (amongst many other things) responsible for the facial rig on the marko zombie  head I did for RR.  Alas I don't have a decent shot of Ben.

There were others who came and went during the course of LDOM but these guys and myself were the core 3D Crew.  Add to this the production staff with VFX sup Ed Bruce, Mighty VFX coordinators the legendary Sarah Mooney (another member of the [NAME REDACTED]' ...as am I ;) )and Amy James, along with Nico Murphy and Kenneth Coyne.  The comp dept headed by Grainne Freeman (with special mention to another of my favorite people Joe Courtis).... It was without doubt the most hectic , but also most fun time I have had working anywhere in my life.

So guys and gals who worked at Screen Scene on Last Days on Mars..I salute you all.