2018 Roadmap for taukeke

Happy New Year 2018 to my dear visitors!

This will be a short post on the planned content that hopefully will see the light of the day–

Before we proceed, check out the updated Demo Reel page with my FX works for the 3DCG anime Infini-T Force.

Since I’m still working on my Houdini FX reel (multitasking a lot of roles as a complete generalist is time consuming), I jot down a lot of tips that I’ll be sharing as… Houdini Tips!

The Roadmap

With the addition of Houdini Tips, I’ll be compiling useful Houdini and any VFX resources links on a dedicated page instead of spreading out as multiple posts.

It will gear towards artists who have experience in either 3ds Max or Maya though the node based workflow means a complete newbie to Houdini are at high risk of being admitted to the ICU.

If you manage to survive the Nuke workflow, Houdini does offer genuine quality of life improvement for FX tasks.

Also I’m a firm believer of quality yet lengthy tutorials like my recent gizmo creation for Nuke (which I still need to fix due to a bug that I overlook) so the following is what I’ve in mind:

Q1 2018

  • Preparing 3DCG Animation for Multi-Channel EXR Compositing in Nuke
  • More Nuke Tips and Houdini Tips

Q2 2018

  • General Python Coding in Everyday Production
  • More Nuke Tips and Houdini Tips

Q3 2018

  • Generic Project Management for Indie 3DCG VFX
  • More Nuke Tips and Houdini Tips

Q4 2018

  • I Got No Idea What This Will Be About
  • More Nuke Tips and Houdini Tips

Hopefully all goes according to plan!

In Other News…

…I’m currently available if any studios are looking for FX Artist (especially those from the 3DCG/VFX movie industry) but I’m stubborn in that I want to fully grasp the fundamentals of Houdini before working full time again.

Last But Not Least

Not to sound like a generic old wise man, if you’re a student or interested to join this industry… please learn Python or scripting like MEL Script (Maya) and Maxscript (3ds Max)!

Having those skills will be very handy in improving the rapid iterations when you’re working on a shot. Sadly I only got serious in learning to code by the tail end of the last project when I’m still working under the supervision of Digital Frontier Japan.

A lot of tedious repetitive tasks when working on the FX for GANTZ: O can be improved if I knew how to write a working MEL Script or Maxscript but that is another story that I’ll cover in the future.

Hmm I’m forgetting something… oh yeah do learn Houdini if you’re doing FX works!

2017 and Beyond

Firstly Happy New Year 2017!

2016 has been a major milestones in my career and personal achievements as I’ve survived several situations by sacrificing many of my favourite pastime like writing Nuke/After Effects/Vray/Maya/3dsmax/etc Tips!

Not to forget gaming and drawing…

As 2016 ends in several hours as I’m writing this post, I’ve completed 19 months of working full-time in the Japanese 3DCG industry as a FX artist at a subsidiary studio located in a backwater corrupted “peaceful” country in South East Asia region.

This post will reflect on what I’ve achieved in 2016 and also what I’m looking forward in 2017 and beyond as a FX artist in the high-end visual effects industry.

2016 – In a Nutshell

Many things happened because it already happened! Here’s what happened to me in 2016:

  1. Survived the challenging FX works for Gantz: O! Ironically I’ve haven’t even got the chance to watch the final movie yet.
  2. Mastered majority of Maya and Vray features especially FX, lighting and rendering!
  3. Learned and wrote dozens of MEL Scripts for Maya and Javascript for After Effects to boost productivity.
  4. Scratch a bit of Python to prepare for the inevitable Python scripting for Maya and Nuke.
  5. Reached the summit of Mount Rinjani at Lombok, Indonesia! (and got sunburned super badly-)
  6. Still wondering why the use of Nuke is still not a reality at the studio… After Effects is very clunky when dealing with multi-channel EXR files.
  7. The increase of cost of living in my area = Being way too thrifty since what goes up in meals’ pricing in this country never goes down…
  8. Neglected my gaming and drawing session since my work has been insane with the amount of overtime.

2017 and Beyond!

So the following will be my to-do list for 2017:

  1. Must watch Gantz: O! Need to see my glorious FX works composited with various render layers with audio.
  2. Practice Houdini as the holy Maya, 3dsmax, FumeFX, Realflow combo are not sufficient in the ever demanding VFX works.
  3. Create a new demoreel featuring FX works done in Houdini!
  4. Continue my coding practice especially Python and maybe for fun, C++ for Unreal Engine 4.
  5. Slowly brush up my language skills in Cantonese and Mandarin. Yes, I’m still a banana but a slightly better banana from previous year-
  6. Going on a journey to explore other countries beyond South-East Asia region for the very first time in my life!
  7. Probably I might need to pickup rudimentary French to future proof my living skills.
  8. Resume whatever gaming/drawing that I left in the backburner…

…So What’s Next?

I should hit the publish button and wrap this up–

Being a non-believer in religion and Gods, I don’t really care if something happens because it happens. I believe in creating and seizing the opportunity.

Also the desire to keep learning new stuff (and earning more money too-) is crucial for my personal growth and development since globalisation has exposed me to various stories of other humans who manage to push their limits in raising the bar especially in the realms of VFX and real-time graphics!

While my other tutorials articles still a work in progress since proof reading it takes time, hopefully I can up my guide to MEL Scripting to improve your quality of life when you’re working in a very small facility that lacks a dedicated artist/scripter by the middle of January.

Thanks for all the support and visits to my website!

Rain Hut – Timelapse Drawing

rain_hut_header

Another new Nuke Tips… this is not.

I was doing spring cleaning for my HDD when I saw an old artwork that I never got to finish back in mid 2010.

rain_hut_2010

Instead of deleting it, I’m partial to this particular rough sketch as it is part of my mini project (which got way too ambitious for me back in 2010).

So I decided to see how much I can develop this rough sketch into a plausible key illustration.

rain_hut_2016

As usual, Paint Tool SAI, Photoshop and 3dsmax was used to produce the final work. The chair was taken from an online free model repository which I need to improvise as it has smoothing issues and rendered with Octane Render.

Obligatory Timelapse Drawing

Here’s the Youtube link to the timelapse drawing:

The video was speed up by 20x and hopefully you’ll find it useful (as I think the final work still sucks big time). Artist’s remorse, I guess.

P/S: High-res version can be found here (3000px width).