For those of you who logged into my November Free Tutorial entitled Animate a Bird and Make it Fly, you'll remember that I promised to deliver a second part to it. This tutorial uses a pre-created rig, which you can buy here and explores the mechanics of bird locomotion. It costs just $5 and trust me, it’s worth it. If you'd like a re-cap of what was in part 1, you can find all the details here.
When I created this tutorial, my number one objective was to ensure that whoever was learning could really use what they create and incorporate it into something that they might already be working on. That’s why this animation tutorial is so substantial and has been separated into two parts! This month, we will use a pre-created rig, which you can buy here and use to explore the mechanics of bird locomation. It costs just $5 and trust me, it’s worth it.
Back in September, Escape Studios and The Foundry joined forces to run a series of free MARI tutorials. To start with, there were two training programmes on offer, but due to an overwhelming demand we scheduled in a third. The aim for the tuition was to introduce professional artists working in the industry to some key features available in MARI, that are fast becoming an integral part of the modern pipeline.
Here is my usual Weekly Round-Up of news with the stories that I have picked up over the past week. If you have suggestions for stories I missed, just drop me a line or post a comment.
If you want to create a seamless finish for your CG scenes, this is the video tutorial for you. This month, I've created a tutorial that explores how paint effects can be used to embed models into backplate environments simply and easily.
What's in this Tutorial?
First off, we'll take a look at paint effects and will explain how you can paint onto geometry. In order to do this, you’ll need to understand the importance of an object's UV which we will discuss as well. You'll then learn how to access a host of preset paint effect brushes that you can find in Maya.
If you want to replicate the complexity of real world objects, you need to create materials that mimic them and this month's free tutorial will show you exactly how to do that. A car body is made up of lots of materials or layers, like metal and paint. If you want to create a rusty car you'll need more materials to create the common signs of deterioration. Many Maya users will be familiar with the 'layered shader' and 'layered texture' nodes. This tutorial asks what happens if you are using the MIA material and rendering in Mental Ray.
If you're reading this blog, then chances are you're like most of us here at Escape Studios and love blowing things up and putting them back together again. So this month's free tutorial should be right up your street because we're going to teach you how to demolish a brick wall using nCloth.
We had an enquiry from one of our online students asking if she could view our online courseware on an iPad via the Skyfire app to view flash content... As we have not yet worked on mobile releases of our learning system (busy building fab courses), I thought I would take a look at it as I was kind of intrigued.
So I invest my £2.99 and loaded her up! I was amazed I could get in to our system and play the video content! Sadly my joy soon tempered when I could not make out the text in the 3DS Max interface. #disappointed!
The loading was also a little clunky to be honest, you would select a video to view and it would load a little window in the bottom left hand of the screen and find the video. Not elegant.
Not to be beaten I decided to look at some additional apps. Whilst I am sure there are others I came across iSwifter. It was also cheaper at £1.79 ;-)
So I was again a little disappointed, this time with the speed of scrolling in our system... However - once I played a video it was seamless, no drop outs excellent quality and I was really very happy with the results.
Whilst we do not 'officially support' the iPad or mobile devices, I now know at least I can grab iSwifter and load up a video with my iPad. If you do have an iPad and want to try this out iSwifter do allow you to take a peak so why not grab one of our free tutorials and give it a go?
Have a great weekend everyone.
For those of you who want to learn V-Ray for Max, you’re in for a real treat this month. We’ve released a tutorial from our new V-Ray course which will be launched over the coming weeks. The tutorial has been taken directly from one of the major case studies within the course and this video is designed to demonstrates the power of V-Ray.
This month, I am tackling some pretty technical issues that affect CG artists on a daily basis. I am going to walk you though the often over-looked issue of Gimbal, using a whole bunch of examples to explain what it is, what causes it and the issues it can have over our animations.
This months free tutorial has been specifically created by our tutors to help you learn to control occlusion. It's not taken from any of our online courses so it truly is a unique tutorial. You'll start off by looking in depth at the mib_amb_occlusion texture node and how careful use of 2 attributes will ensure that you obtain the perfect ambient occlusion pass.
You can really impress future employers by taking advantage of our two expert tutorials this month. Taken from our Character Animation Foundation and ZBrush for 3D Artist courses, they are designed to give you pro-skills in very specialised areas.
It's that time of year when everybody makes a multitude of New Year's resolutions. I am of the opinion that they are not worth doing unless you are going to stick to them. Having said that, we have actually decided to start the year with a resolution. It’s a fairly simple one: we are resolute in our wish to give you more of the free tutorials that you want. There you are, I told you it would be an easy one.
Lighting and Shading are an integral part of the VFX pipeline and if you want to take your skills to a professional level these tutorials are the best place to start learning. What’s great about these tutorials is that they tackle pretty complicated subjects head-on and they are practical so, although you’ll understand the theory, you’ll also learn how to practically apply this knowledge. The best part is that these tutorials will sit in our resource centre permanently, so you can access them whenever you want and learn whenever it suits you.
There's nothing better than gaining extra skills - especially when you can do it for free. This month's free tutorials have been taken from our Camera Tracking and Nuke courses and are great for boosting your skills if you're looking to become professional. The great thing is, they're just 10 minutes long so you can easily work through them in your lunch hour, but like last month's six free Maya Tutorials they're staying in our e-learning platform permanently so you can refer to them whenever you want.
I find it really annoying when I find freebies that are ‘for a limited time only’, and it’s something we’ve been guilty of with our free tutorials. We’ve had some great feedback about them, and with that in mind we've decided to revamp the way our freebies work.
If you want to gain more production-level modelling skills, this is a great tutorial. It’s taken from the final part of our Advanced Shading with Maya online course and looks at the steps needed to create a realistic render, by adding bump detail with procedural textures and making use of effects.
We’re really excited about this month’s free tutorial because it’s taken from our new soon-to-be launched ZBrush Course. This tutorial is great if you’re looking to up your ZBrush skills to an advanced level. It’s an in-depth tutorial that demonstrates how to use tools to create fine details, specifically ‘Wear and Tear’ on a pre-made Gas Mask model. Plus, it’s only 12 minutes long so you’ll be able to squeeze it into your lunch break.
We have a real treat in store for you with July’s free tutorial; it’s a pretty technical and hands-on, and takes an in-depth look at geometry tracking within PFTrack.
It’s one of the final tutorials taken from our Camera Tracking for VFX Course and explains how the use of geometry can ‘Solve’ the motion of an object, enabling CG elements to interact with live action objects.
If you were looking to improve your modelling skills you couldn't have picked a better time, because this month we're giving away TWO free tutorials instead of one!