Form and Space

creating CG 3D since 2001

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Chapter 9 – Intro 3D Modeling in Maya 2nd Ed

Chapter 9, the final chapter for Intro 3D Modeling in Maya 2nd Ed, is complete! Chapter 9 covers layout, lighting, and rendering for Introduction to 3D Modeling in Maya, 2nd Edition. Free to anyone who has already bought the Intro to Modeling in Maya, 2nd Edition. I’ve already sent email links to download Chapter 9. For anyone looking to purchase 2nd Edition, it’s now included in the purchase, and brings the total number of hours in this training series to nearly 33 hours. If you are interested in only buying Chapter 9, then go here.

Lonan by Piper Thibodeau

Lonan by Piper Thibodeau is a character designed for a 3D animated short film called Sidhe. Piper and I met on the twitterverse. I noticed one day she was struggling to sculpt her cute character in Zbrush. After mentioning I would enjoy creating this character, Piper promptly offered me money to created Lonan. I was happy with her offer, but in exchange I asked to use her character in my up-and-coming Character Modeling training. She gladly gave me permission to use her character in exchange for creating it. In good form, I decided to make the character first, deliver a…

Chapter 8 – Intro 3D Modeling in Maya 2nd Ed

It took a long time, but it’s here. Chapter 8, Solving Modeling Problems with Rigging and Dynamics for Introduction to 3D Modeling in Maya, 2nd Edition. Free to anyone who has already bought the Intro to Modeling in Maya, 2nd Edition. I’ll email links to download Chapter 8.

Sherman Tank Earns Checkmate Pro!

The Sherman Tank model is recognized and received Checkmate Pro from Turbosquid.com! Checkmate Pro isn’t easy to get, and this guarantees our models are well made and ready to go. This model took a year to develop, and is modeled and textured by Brian Jacome. Materials, lighting, and rendering are by me, Matthew. I’ve learned more and more about lighting and color management, and the next one should be even better. The next step is to deliver the rigged and animated version of this tank. Congratulations to Brian Jacome, Jordan Kohler (setting up the tread, teeth, and gears), and my…

Sherman Tank on Turbosquid!

Sherman M4A3E2 “Jumbo” Tank is delivered! Two members of my team, Brian Jacome and Jordan Kohler, have been working on this Sherman tank for the last year. Brain Jacome was responsible for the modeling and texturing, while Jordan Kohler lead the rigging and UI development. These last several days I’ve been lighting, organizing, making mistakes, and rendering, and rendering some more. Well, it’s finally out the door. At least, the static model is delivered to Turbosquid. Next I’ll work on delivering the rigged version, maybe with a bit of animation. That’s where Jordan’s work will shine. It’s been a pleasure…

Cherrington Construction Co. – Brochure Illustrations

Ian Berget and I delivered another couple illustrations to the Cherrington Construction Company. This time they are used in a brochure to help sell patents for his Horizontal Direction Boring, or HDB, technology for both the large transitional pipeline and the utility pipelines. Essentially, the client wanted me to re-render the previous image with some upgrades, and create another image for the utility pipes. Ian Berget will be taking point on the next big client projects. This image, below, is all Ian Berget’s work. He did a fabulous job. I highly recommend Ian for this kind of work. The black…

Spade Shovel – Checkmate Pro!

Another model earns checkmate pro status on Turbosquid! Modeled by Jonathan Camacho. Rendered by Matthew L. Stoehr.

Cherrington Construction Company

A couple weeks back I finished a product visualization of a Horizontal Directional Boring device for the Cherrington Construction company. This was a tough assignment, and I was given 10 days to finish the project. The owner wanted the renderings fast, and produce a brochure to take to a conference in Denver. I managed to finish the project in 5 days. I really had to reprioritize my work and family time. The sacrifice made by my family and my own free time was worth it. Martin was very happy with my work, and said all the brochures were taken by…

Human Brain Earns Check Mate Pro!

A second model made by Form and Space earns Check Mate Pro status at Turbosquid! Congratulations to Ian Berget, the modeler for the Human Brain. A job well done! A potential buyer asked me if all the parts of the brain are separate, yes! they are all separate. Our next task is to animate the Brain to expose all the individual parts. If you’re interested in buying this fantastic model please go here.

Human Brain on Turbosquid!

Hi readers, I’m catchin up n news tonight, but thought you’d like to know I published one more fantastic model on Turbosquid. It’s modeled by Ian Berget, and he has created this brain with incredible detail. If your end product is medical design or education or zombie movies, please click the image below, and get some brains! We really appreciate the support!

Alligator Earns Checkmate Pro!

I’m super proud to announce our alligator delivered successfully AND it received Checkmate Pro status from the Turbosquid.com staff. This is a big boost for us. Special kudos to Jonathan Camacho for such an amazing job modeling this very detailed alligator.

Coming Soon – An Alligator

This alligator will be sold on Turbosquid, and has taken Jonathan Camacho over a month to model and texture. I’ve spent all day rendering, and going back and forth communicating with Jon on rendering accurate displacement maps. It’s coming together. I’ve trying different lighting scenarios. This rendering took about 5 minutes. High resolution image – 1920 x 1080 – test render

Siamese Cat on Turbosquid

Siamese Cat Model For Sale On Turbosquid Modeled and textured by Jonathan Camacho Lighting and rendering by Matthew L. Stoehr

Screenshots this Summer

Screenshots of my work this summer. More to come. Cat model is modeled and textured by Jonathan Camacho.

Unfinished Character

I started this character March 2013, and come back to it once and a while. I thought you’d enjoy seeing it. This work is from the 3D Character Modeling course at American River College called, Art New Media 421, and the designed are by Lauren Bennett. This course has a prerequisite of Art New Media 420, Introduction to 3D Modeling. Both courses are nearly 100% Autodesk Maya-based, yet this year, Fall 2014, 3D Character Modeling will be 50/50 Zbrush and Maya.

Form and Space Scripts Help Architectural Visualization

I’m always happy to report when I’m able to help someone in one of the many 3D industries. At this company, http://www.mayrussell.com.au/ they utilized the Replace/Add Randomized script to add cars to the parking garage visuals. I spotted this script on your site and I must thank you for sharing such a wonderful script! It’s been very useful to randomly add cars to a carpark in a recent project. I have used it to add cars into a carpark so far (to get an idea of how screens react in terms of opacity). I hope to use your script on…

3D Rigging and Rig Building Volume I Complete

I’m proud to announce 3D Rigging and Rig Building – Volume 1 is complete. It’s here. 3D Rigging and Rig Building will guide you through the process of articulating movement for characters in Autodesk Maya. In this volume, Matthew places much emphasis on the creation of rigs for any digital asset, not just bi-pedals. He begins this process by explaining all the nuances of parenting in Maya. He then takes you through a long process of analysis, synthesis, and automation of a camera rig using MEL script. If this is your first time writing in MEL or writing code ever,…

Model a Day

I’m on a mission to strengthen my skills in CG 3D. I want to be faster and smarter with all aspects of 3D modeling, texturing, rigging, and rendering. “Speed is the key” has been my motto for years, and now I’m really applying it to myself. I’ll be publishing models everyday in Softimage or Zbrush or both. I also want to meet the demands of high end modeling standards set by websites like Turbosquid. I’ll post all my work for sale on Turbosquid for nominal prices. Some of the greater challenges of the day was finding a good workflow to…

Released 3D Texturing – Volumes I and II

I just released the video training, 3D Texturing – Volumes I and II, here at http://formandspace.com! There is over 16 hours of video training. It’s a high quality video, with plenty of markers to navigate your way through the information. Click the images below to find much more information and sample videos. Check it out! Volume I Volume 2 The summary: 3D Texturing will give you the essential skills you need to take your modeling to the next level. From film to games to medical visualization to any other CG 3D industry, this training will guide you from simple primitive…

3D Texturing Training Near Completion

Since I last posted I’ve recorded training on the production of seamless tilable textures, the proper way to build a height map from a photo, explained displacements in Maya (Mental Ray and Maya Software rendering), exhibit the creation of alphas for ZBrush, and the entire process for proper displacements from Maya to ZBrush to Maya. This is approximately seven more hours of training in the last two chapters. I should only be about one more work day to finish editing, publish, and upload. I’m making my last renders right now. The displaced landscape is the final object. update: New renders…

Preview of 3D Texturing Training Chapter 5

Here’s yet another preview of my upcoming 3D Texturing training, and this chapter has a TON (2K lbs.) of content. I first take you through Photoshop to create good reference images to use in ZBrush. We make an apple. It’s simple, and perfect for learning a complex process and looks nice in the end. For all the first-timers in ZBrush, I take you through an introduction on how to use ZB. We go on to sculpt the apple in ZB. I spend some time explaining the pipeline of retopologizing objects between Maya, ZBrush, and xNormal. I do the retopo in…

Preview of 3D Texturing Training Chapter 4

Here’s a peak at the final result of Chapter 4 of Introduction to 3D Texturing in Maya. This has been much more difficult than I imagined it would be, but the results are pleasing. It has taken me about 24 hours to create, problem solve, then create again in recording, about two hours of recorded training: and the editing phase with closed captions hasn’t even begun yet. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed creating the training. In this chapter I show two unique ways to unwrap the wine bottle (film style and game style), and…

Preview of 3D Texturing Training

I’ve been having my fun, playing, taking time away, but I’m back at it. Here’s a glimpse of what’s coming, Introduction to 3D Texturing. Just in time for 3D Texturing this semester. This image is from the end of Chapter 3, where I teach the creation of a color map by moving between Photoshop and Maya. Chapter 1 discusses general texture issues, and chapter 2 investigates UVs and how to control the unwrapping process. Many more chapters to come…

Mobile Games

Here’s fabulous article highlighting some of the success of my program at ARC, and our connection to the mobile games industry. http://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/ProgramstoWatch.aspx Here’s a snippet. Video Games Sales Fuel California Community College 3-D Animation Programs to Provide Workforce Pipeline Many students hired by companies right after graduating with certificate or associate degrees Sales of video games and consoles each year continue to eclipse the market for movies, both in ticket sales and purchase of DVDs. The video games industry has become big business and now encompasses not only the Playstations and XBOXes in living rooms, but smartphones and tablets where…

Dawnshine Development

This is really good news, and I’m honored to be the recipient of such kind words. Thank you, Brian! Here’s the full article – http://dawnshinedev.blogspot.com/2013/01/starting-2013.html As for Dawnshine, I’m very glad that I reached out to Professor Matthew Stoehr, chair of the Art New Media Department of the second largest college in Sacramento–American River College. He’s been sending me his students. I’ve been really impressed with the quality of work they’re doing. I actually went to ARC myself starting in the 1990s back when I was determined to major in every single subject ever created before I finally settled transferring…

Meetings with Brian Linville

I’m excited to report I’ve now had two meetings with the owner of Stigma Games, Brian Linville. We have primarily discussed how the 3D programs at American River College, and I can support the development of Dawnshine. Brian is a multifaceted individual with many interesting stories and skill sets. He has the leadership qualities required to accomplish such a large task, and I’m happy to be 100% behind him. This is a great opportunity for any student of mine, as he has made clear in his list of requirements, here. Modelers should be in a or have completed a 4…

Certificates!

Here are the certificates. They went live today! ARC students, go see a counselor and apply for one right now. The catalog page: http://www.arc.losrios.edu/catalog.htm The official catalog addendum: http://arc.losrios.edu/enroll/2012-13_Catalog_Nov_Addendum.pdf 3D Modeling and Texturing Certificate This certificate combines a foundation of traditional sculpture and painting with computer generated three dimensional digital modeling and painting. High polygon modeling techniques are used to create assets for any industry in need of 3D modeling and texturing. Texturing will focus primarily on the use of manipulated and painted imagery to create complex surfaces. Student Learning Outcomes Upon completion of this program, the student will be…

New Certificates Coming Soon

Three new certificates go live November 1st, 2012, and a fourth to go live June 1, 2013. ARTNM: 3D Modeling and Texturing – 18 units ARTNM: 3D Rigging Technical Director – 19 units ARTNM: 3D Technical Director – 30 units ARTNM: 3D Animation – 18 units (available June 1st, 2013) After four years of development, research, and red tape I’m proud to announce the release of these certificates. The smaller 18 units certificates can be achieved in three semesters, and the larger 30 units can be completed in 4 semesters (assuming 15 units per semester for the Associates in Arts…

Particles Again

I’ve created several variations of the particle system, and here’s one of them. I’d like to expose a bunch of the variables to the user. Then you’d have interactive control over the creation of the particles. Maybe as an app for mobile devices… Here it is. Hover your mouse over the circle in the center to get the “feel” for the particles. Holding shift while clicking on the particles will spawn more, and click + dragging will allow you to move them around. Update April 18, 2012

Particle System

Inspired by the work I’m doing at Elara Systems Inc., learning and training ICE in Softimage, I’ve reopened some files from 2008. This is created in Flash AS3. It has three classes, a particle systems, emitter, and particle. Click once to start, then click any particle to spawn more.

Added Drawings, Charcoals from 1995-96

These three drawings were commissioned by the musician Matthew Stratton during my freshmen or sophomore year in undergraduate school.  He paid 20$ per drawing.  I thought I would never see these drawings again, but there is some good to being a member of Facebook.   I can’t believe I said that.  I asked Matthew Stratton if he still had the drawings, and if he would document them, as I was too stupid back then to do it myself.  A few months later he replied, “They hang prominently in my studio. Notice signatures from Harvey and Walter. Both were complimentary of your…

3D Model: Self Portrait

From 2008, this self portrait modeled as an in-class example for an experimental course called, 3d Human Head.  Sometime in the future this course will be redesigned and renamed 3D Facial Expression and Animation to accompany the course Facial Expression and Anatomy at ARC.

3D Model: Stylus and Holder

Here’s a stylus and holder I modeled a few years ago.  As a member of Turbosquid, this is my first model to be posted for sale.  It’s yours for a nominal price.

Galleries: 3D Models

There’s a new gallery page!  In there you can find tons of images of models in progress or that were in progress, but I no longer work on.  The work goes back the last ten years!  The galleries are roughly in chronological order; to the best of my memory.

Added 3D Illustrations

Here are a few illustrations from my early years of modeling, lighting, texturing, and rendering in 3D software, from 2001. The forest was generated from the technique of instancing using hair as the guide.  So, for each strand of hair in the scene, it was replaced with an instance, or copy, of a tree.  The tree was generated using an old Lightwave tool called Treecage.  The instancing software was called Shave and a Haircut.  Shave is now an integrated part of all major off-the-shelf software, such as Maya, SI, Max, and C4D.

Added More Drawings

I found a couple more scattered on my hard drive from my Lady and the Lion days, from 2004 – 05.   Maybe I’ll return to it someday.

Added Drawings

Added more drawings from my graduate school days, in 2001.

Medical Animation – Stent

Back in June 2010, while helping Dave Spamer with the Tron remake, he asked for some help creating a medical animation of a stent.  Now that all the secret parts have been removed from the animation, here’s the part that I worked on.  My contribution was rigging and shaders for the vessel animation. This is animated, modeled, and rendered in Softimage. Here’s a thread on cgtalk describing some of the curve constraint issues, and the solution I had for Dave’s stent animation. If you’re using Softimage, my advice still applies to all curve rigging or modeling with curves. I stated: For…

Tron

The CGTalk FX Wars are held about every two months, and this time they held a competition in honor of the new Tron 2.0. Dave Spamer invited me to help him participate in the challenge. We have created the Tron style light cycle battle (part of it). Dave has been interested in Tron for years, and saw the CGTalk FX Wars as an opportunity to finish what he started years ago. I was responsible for the light trails effect and the setup of multi-pass rendering. I designed a tool that would allow Dave to draw the curves that he needs,…

Fountains, Fireflies, and Bucket of Balls

More AS3 fun. Inpired by Actionscript 3.0 Making Things Move by Kieth Peters. Fireflies.  Ok.  Not fireflies, but it reminds me of them. Fountain. Notice the scale change from birth to death.  It adds a nice dimension. Dump Bucket.  I imagined a bucket of bouncing balls dumped onto the floor.  Classic bouncing ball from traditional animation ramped up.

Asteroids Ship

Lately, I’ve been doing A LOT of administrative work, and I’m tired of it.  Even though I have a shit ton of work to do for ARC, I decided to have some fun and chill out this Sunday.  I loaded up some old flash files of mine.  After having a conversation with an artist in town, it looks like I’ll be doing more AS3 work this summer, so I thought I’d warm up.  This one uses OOP!  The asteroids ship drawing, the asteroids ship animation, and the asteroids ship’s bullets are all independent.  This work is a rebuild of the…

Adaptive Rigging

After a conversation with my student, Jake, I was reminded of some old research and experiments I did between April and July 2007 with adaptive rigging.  I spent my summer off from teaching trying to recreate Bernard Haux’s excellent rigging work.  I don’t think my work was nearly as clean as Mr. Haux’s, but I was tapping into some good ideas for character freedom.  The traditional animators of Disney were free to draw and not be limited by the technology’s or the technical director’s limitations.  They could make marks on paper, over and over again.  Their two primary tools are…

Red, the Ball with a Tail

After reading the request of a starving animator on cgtalk.com, I present to you, free of charge: Red, the Ball with a Tail! (XSI) When you load the scene you can see the default controls; translation and rotation controls for the ball and rotation controls for the tail.  From here, you should have everything you need to make a traditional bouncing ball with a tail.  No need to do anything else!  Start animating.   However, the tail is more than meets the eye! If you haven’t already, load the xsiaddon I included in the zip file.  In there you have…

Sketching Waves and Dynamics

In August 2008, I was experimenting with building sine waves into my rigs, and I used this weird cactus object for the testing grounds.  Click the image to see the results and the control panel.  I was able to offset each wave to a unique object along the branch.  In case you’re wondering what the weird surface is, it’s a cube instanced onto the surface using a hair object.  It’s all very simple and fun to play with. Later, around April 2009, I created dynamic tree branches that had secondary animation.  As the root was oscillated with a sine wave…

Thera-P-Fin, by Maria Sclafani

Here’s work completed for my client, Maria Sclafani, in 2006.  Maria asked me to create a visualization of her invention.  She came to me with a homemade modified swimming fin.  It had cloth super clued to a cut rubber fin to demonstrate to me what it should look like.  In addition she had a few crude drawings I then interpreted to create the visual below.  It’s fun and challenging to create something from another person’s mind’s eye.  Maria is seeking a manufacturer to build her product, and uses this visual to promote her ideas.  She now owns the patent to…

Website Interfacing Prototype

I think this is pretty cool stuff, and I’m proud of my work on this project.  In October of 2008, I was invited to collaborate with Steve Mehallo, Jim Cassio, and Michael Scott to animate a prototype of a new website standard.  I was responsible for creating and programming the animation.  I was also responsible for following Steve Mehallo’s design of the interface to the pixel. I hadn’t used Flash since AS 1.0 days, so I had to learn Action Script 3.0 programming very fast.  I used research material published by Keith Peters to achieve my goal in one month…

Dragon on the Shore

This is exciting!  An old friend of mine, Brian, found me on facebook.com recently.  He happens to be the person that built my first computer back in 1998.  But not for free.  I promised to complete this six foot by three foot charcoal drawing of a dragon in a landscape.  The drawing was so heavy I used grommets on the top and bottom border to ensure he could mount and remount the drawing without damaging the paper.  Then we did a swap.  Well, that was it.   I’ve been working with and playing games on computers ever since.  I hope to…

Pearls, Pearl Shader

These pearls are from an old project, but stands well on it’s own as an illustration.  Perhaps I could sell digital jewelry. Software:  Softimage XSI 5.0 (could have been 4.2) Date: 2005 I’ve included the render tree for those curious how it was made.  The secret to this render is not only in the render tree but is in the lighting.  I used photography of pearls for my reference.  I replicated the lighting and the format to the best of my ability.  The pearls are set against a white backdrop to flood your eyes with light.  A neat trick.

Galleries, Drawings

I added a gallery section and have started my drawing gallery.  These first two are from July 2007.  They are based on photographs of my father’s 50th birthday party.  I’ll add more drawings this weekend.  It’s near 4am, and I need to be at a 9am meeting. Date:  July 2007 Medium:  Graphite and Ink Dimensions:  11 x 14 in.

Troll and the Decaying Woods

I’m going to start this website with an old image. Lot’s of friends and students have asked me, “Where did your troll go? Did you produce anything with it?”  Well, no. It collected dusk in the hard drive. It was a pain to rig and animate. I didn’t know what was the best for character animation in those days, so I eventually left this piece behind and moved forward. However, seeing it does inspire me to make monsters again! This time, monsters that move! Date: 2002-03 Software:  Newtek Lightwave 6.5,  Bauhaus Software, Mirage 1.0 (formerly Newtek Aura) Process:  The Troll…