Lumion in the woods

“Cathedral of the woods”, by Stefan Haberkorn of Germany. Made in real-time with Lumion…


Diablo-icly good!

Lovely demo of a $70 top-down environment assets pack for the free Unity game development software, for a Diablo / Titan Quest -like videogame environment. Worth seeing just for the art direction…

You can, of course, now bring iClone characters into Unity via a robust pipeline…

A little sketchy

Repaired the dead download link for my free “sketch” iClone project file. This is set up and lit to give you one of the best b&w “finished sketch” effects in iClone 5…


The Prometheus Trap

Cool-looking 90-minute Prometheus fan-film and prequel, Prometheus Trap… looks like they have some talented FX and stage lighting people on board, even if the sound and dialogue both seem a little flat. Out now…


Muvizu illuminated…

The new release of Muvizu is available, in the usual 450Mb download. This new edition features a new optional German-translation of the interface, for those in Germany. Plus new content packs for Prisons and Railroads.

There’s also now a free set of 23 handy lighting presets



Lovely bit of seasonal 3D art from the latest issue (#47) of 3D Artist magazine…

Talking of glows… in iClone, it’s really easy easy to get things glowing (in contrast to both Poser and DAZ, where it’s a pain). But:— how to get a glow effect to ‘spill’ into the air a fair way beyond the edges of the glowing object? I’ve taken a casual look for a solution, but I’m guessing it’s impossible since it would horribly bog down the real-time rendering. And as iClone’s glows don’t shine through props or planes, you can’t just stack some glowing ‘10% opacity’ primitives on top of your base glowing prop, to fake the wide spillover effect. Is there a workaround, that doesn’t involve covering the whole scene with bloom? Or having to do something fiddly with single spotlight positioning?


Lumion 3 features

Previews of many of the new features coming in Lumion 3.0. Lumion is the rather fab — but very expensive — real-time visualisation tool for architects and 3D landscapers. And genuinely real-time, like iClone.

Above: Real-time, not raytraced.


Night sky

Lovely bit of space art, for a 1024px screen device. Found online with no attribution or title. Anyone know more about who made it?

Update: thanks to BiggsTrek for identifying this as being by Sandra of Belgium, Europe.


Silhouette lighting in iClone

Warlord’s handy new video guide to doing silhouette lighting in iClone


Dive in to Lumion

Cool Lumion real-time render video, from a guy with an even cooler name… Gilson Antunes…


Valve Software Source Filmmaker goes to beta

Valve Software’s Source Filmmaker is available now as a semi-closed beta for Windows 7. It’s the real-time tool used to create Valve’s own promotional animations for games such as Team Fortress 2.

It’s licenced for commercial work, provided you don’t pinch any of Valve’s in-game assets. To snag a beta licence key now, contribute a shiny 3D item to the Team Fortress Workshop, TF2′s internal marketplace for fan-made items. Doing this gives you a better chance of getting a licence key.

For a complete set of tutorial videos, take a look at the YouTube channel.


Lumion 2.5 released

Lumion 2.5 has been released. It’s the rather fab — but very expensive — real-time visualisation tool for architects. But it does have a free version, and bona fide students can now get an Educational non-commercial version for free via their school, college or university.


Unreal horsing around

G5 Chuck and one of the Reallusion horses, in the Unreal game engine — showcasing the new 3DXChange 5 Pipeline FBX export possibilities…


Film-noir tutorial for Muvizu

Dreeko’s full film-noir tutorial for Muvizu…


The making of… The Pilot’s Dilemma

The making of… “The Pilot’s Dilemma”

Click on the picture for the full-size version.

The secret is not to do it all in iClone, but to use iClone to rapidly make a picture library of quick approximately-lit prop candidates, with each prop isolated against a green and blue-screen. The picture is then put together like a jigsaw in Photoshop, bringing in each prop one at a time on a new layer, and cutting it out. When all the prop pictures have been swiveled and nudged into the right place, to make a good composition around the central photo, then the prop elements are color-shifted and faded out — to give a sense of distance and to start to unify the colour. At no time did I automatically “colour-match” layers, it was all done by eye. No filters were used. Then I brought in special FX such as mist and fog layers. Finally I got the Photoshop brushes out and blended, blurred, smudged, painted and generally fixed some of the details and errors.

With a stronger light source you might have more problems keeping the light direction looking consistent. That’s possibly where more pre-Photoshop work in iClone could help, making a more iClone heavy base-layer to start from. Or a quick “lighting sketch” to work from as reference.

I prefer to cut out in Photoshop as I have a plugin for that, and it gives me more control over semi-transparent bits. But I seem to remember that iClone can also output images that have “hard edge” embedded alpha channels, which should save time if you’re not used to cutting out. Reallusion’s popVideo software can also cut out from green-screens.

Time was about eight hours.


The Pilot’s Dilemma

New picture, iClone and Photoshop. “The Pilot’s Dilemma” is the title… click the picture to see the full-size version…


3DS Max 2013 – new features breakdown

3DS Max 2013 new features announced

* “ActiveShade interactive rendering that constantly updates as changes are made to cameras, lighting, materials, and geometry”…

I suspect it’ll be one of those “updating like a slide-show” previews that many of the big 3D applications have, rather than something that works like iClone. But it’ll be very interesting to see how responsive the lighting changes are on a casual hobbyist 32-bit setup, using an imported Poser DAE or iClone FBX (from 3DXchange 5).

* “Adobe After Effects Interoperability […] There is nothing else like it in any other product. It gives you a bidirectional workflow [which] provides two-way transfer of cameras, lights, null objects, plane objects/solids, footage (including footage layering), blend modes, opacity, and effects”

* “new ability to output renderings in a layered PSD Photoshop format” [it’s catching up with Poser, on this feature]

Expected to ship 12th April 2012. I’m not sure if the cheaper educational version will be available at the same time, or not.


“Exploding coals” FX video tutorial – iClone

A new “exploding coals” video tutorial for iClone, from The Mythical Dragon…