Tuesday, December 25, 2012



The Studio is Dark, and the Hearts are Warm, so have a JOLLY day everyone, and MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!!

Cheers, THOM

Friday, December 21, 2012

Project Review: Lotus Elise: US Launch 2005 PART II

 A 3/4 Side shot of the Lotus Elise 3D Model I made for the US Launch back in 2005.

 A 3/4 front view of the Lotus I made from scratch.

 A Worms eye view from the back showing 6the belly-pan and exhaust heat shields drilled out on this Elise.

 A 3/4 overhead view of the model I built.

 I hid the glass object to show a 3/4 interior I made for the car as well. This has door sills so the doors can be opened, but I did not do all the interior parts at the time for the pitch.

 Looking at the IP from the the back window[ hidden]

 An almost top view with windows out showing the dash details.

 A closer shot of the virtual Lotus Elise I made for the Adverting campaign.

Project Review

Client: Lotus Motors via The Cimarron Group.
Art Director(s): Lee Queano, Nigel Williams,and Myself.
Project Date: Summer 2004.

Today in PART II on the 3D virtual car model I built while at The Cimarron Group back in 2004 for Lotus Motors, I have some polygon ambient renders to post, to show off the geometry itself as to how I built each part.

I built this asset out to assist the Corporate Advertising Division at The Cimarron Group to get the Lotus Account for the USA lauch of the car, and since the cars were not in the states I was forced to look online to find photos of this new car.

I found a great set from the LA Auto show and I also found a blueprint so I began to construct the car part by part, starting as trained at Art Center with the main speed form or body mass.

This was the first 3D car I built from scratch, and I have built many since.

I will have added posts covering more of the process for certain challenges for this car.

Eventually we got to get the actual cars here and I got a test drive with the factory technician on Mulholland Drive out here in SoCal, and that was exhilarating to say the least.

You can view PART I here.

Cheers, THOM

Monday, December 17, 2012

Project Review: The Final Cut 2004: Home Entertainment KeyArt

 Here is the final glass render of the flat-screen monitor I built out for the Key Art for the film The Final Cut back in 2003.

 I also rendered it out with some fish eye on the lens. I am a fan of curvilinear perspective so the fish eye lens is something I always love to try on a project.

 An exploded view of the virtual flat screen I made with all the bits separated out to see.

 A closer reverse shot showing the LED flat screen element out front there.

 Close up details on the little motherboard I made inside.

 Here is that same area a bit pulled back to show the various conductors and chips I made to fill the 3D circuits to show off on the lower edges for this X-Ray render.

Project Review
The Final Cut 2004
Home Entertainment KeyArt

Client: Lions Gate Films via The Cimarron Group.
Art Director: George Anderson.
Project Date: December 2003.

Today for my Monday 3D posting, I have some Key Art 3D Illustrations that I did for the film, The Final Cut. This was a very early project that I did for a direct to video release for the film starring Robin Williams back in 2004.

I had done a gun made out of transparent material[ Glass/Ice etc.] for a prior project over at BLT and Associates here, and they loved the look I had, so the idea for the Key art was to have Robin looking at camera as if he is editing and that the monitor was done in this transparent look to overlay over the top of the comp.

The finals looked great thought they changed the Key-Art at the last moment[ typical], and this never finished. This type of solve is truly where 3D sings, as you can render anything in most any material you can think of, so a glass flat screen was straight forward to do.

For the build, I went to the IT guys at Cimarron, and they had an old flat screen that was opened up so I reviewed the parts inside took a few shots, and built out what you see above as an all X-Ray model.

An X-Ray model takes more time since it is an inside and outside model with most parts all modeled out, and since this was rendered out as glass, you must build it this way from the start, and factor the cost to the client as well.

A fun project to do, even though it did not finish.

Cheers, THOM

Friday, December 14, 2012

3D Model Sales Part VI: Old Mailbox on a Post

 A smoothed shot of the 3D Model I sell online of this Old Mailbox on a post here.

 Here is a quad shot with the subdivision set to 2, so you can see the build underneath the asset.

 The base model with all subdivision removed.

 A worms-eye view looking up underneath the mailbox shows the little rivets and staples on the post for bill postings over the years.

 This Polygon wire view shows the bends in the tin model itself built into the design.

 The Low Poly view is also what is exported to OBJ, and FBX formats so they end user can add in their own subdivision to turn off an on, so it is not 'baked' into the wires.

 Here I shot a birds-eye view down on the mailbox with the front door opened up showing the inside and the little screw holding the knob on.

 Subdivision set to 2 iterations for the smoothed version here.

 A low poly wire view of the model with the door opened on up.

  Here the multi view shot shows the model as a whole in various views to help sell the asset.

3D Model Sales
Part VI
Old Mailbox on a Post

I sell some of my 3D models online at Turbosquid, the leading stock model house online,  and each week I cover one of those designs, and for todays PART VI[6], I am showcasing a model I have put up for sale of an old mailbox on a wood post, something you would see all across America.

I first get photo reference and build out the tin mailbox piece by piece. I made the parts separate as well as all the rivets, nails, screws and staple fasteners used in the scene.
This model is grouped so the flag and door can be hinged open for any type of animation. I built this as all quads so it is sub-dividable to add details for those close ups. I export all 3D assets to FBX and OBJ so my friends in Cinema 4D , Maya, and Soft-XSI can use the assets as well.

Cheers, THOM

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Project Review: Aeon Flux 2005 Motion Graphics 3D Animated Card Style Frame Development PART II

 For the first style frame look above for Aeon Flux, I rendered out the little particles in a mostly blue world with a mild depth of field.

 Here are the base shapes as well as the back surface I displaced out and placed at the back of the scene.

 In look two for Aeon Flux, I did this one in greens, with some triangulated chemical shapes that were not quite natural but 'Bio" none the less.

 A polygon view showing the build for the above scene.

 Had to do a full red version for the blood cell try with some added tubes spiraling thru the scene as well.

This scene used the particles and the tubes without any backdrop surface as with the prior images,  so it was a bit easier to pull an alpha channel over the footage.

The final look used four particle shapes with an eyeball sphere as the background.

The polygon view of the last style frame for Aeon Flux Microscopics for the first round from back in 2005.

Project Review: Aeon Flux 2005
Motion Graphics 3D Animated Cards
Style Frame Development PART II

Client: via The Cimarron Group.
Direction: Roland Mesa.
Project Date:  February 2005.

For today's PART II on the Motion Graphics work that I did back in 2005 for the film adaptation of Aeon Flux, I have four style frame looks that I worked out and presented for the 3D animated cards that I was to do for the project going forward.

I researched the shapes for the various blood cells and microscopics that would work well for these Medical Animations that were to be used for Entertainment Advertising online, built out the particles, and designed the procedural shaders and was ready to test them out.

I have also posted the polygon views of each look, showing the build out as well. I used a variety of particle shapes and microscopics colors to give a good range of looks, and we ended up with a bit of a combo of a few loos for the finals.

I animated using the built in particle system Reactor in 3DSmax to animate the cells, and the procedural shaders from Darktree, and the X-Ray material in Final Render.

 You can view PART I here.

Cheers, THOM

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Project Review Out Takes PART VII Universal City Walk 1992

 Thru out the Citywalk store, there were large truss systems for the blue screen and various lights and apparatus, so they wanted a monitor 'cage' to mount to the truss system that could be rotated from landscape to portrait, and this was pre-flat screens so a big CRT cage was designed out as seen above to match the 'drapes' so to speak.

 An under-drawing I did was used for various designs, but clearly in this direction here.

 A top down view of the footprint of the main operators desktop with three Mac's. Note the old Mac split ergo keyboard seen also here.

Project Review
Out Takes PART VII
Universal City Walk Mall 1992.

Client: Out Takes Via Eric Allard at All Effects.
Art Director: Eric Allard.
Project Date Summer 1992

In my seventh posting for the design work that I performed for All Effects back in 92' on the City Walk Out Takes Furniture, Cabinets, and Camera structure designs, I have posted today some added under drawings and schematics.

Out-Takes was a blue screen photography studio at Universal's City Walk Outdoor Mall in California back in the late 90's, and part of any design job is to translate your won design so others so it can be built, and this usually involves a lot of extra schematic views, and parts drawings so the design can be understood by those who would build it.

This one point is why as a 3D Conceptual Designer who does his own 3D work, I can effectively undercut most any other job bid, since I cut out the entire process of design translation to another designer, since I myself am the one doing the building, and it is exact in the first pass to the design, where any translated work will require back and fourth to refine due to two or more minds on the job, which means a much higher cost as you must hire both a designer, and a modeler.

Cheers, THOM

PART I is here.
PART II is here.
PART III is here. 
PART IV is here. 
PART V is here. 
PART VI is here.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Project Review: Aeon Flux 2005-Motion Graphics 3D Animated Cards PART I

 Frame 10 as the letters are stirred around to form the final title for this Aeon Flux 3D animated card I designed back in 2005.

 Frame 15 the letters are forming the words....

 Frame 20 they are close to set for the This Summer Card for Aeon Flux.

 The type is set and the camera is l slowing moving into the frame....

 The type fly's past camera as the back light begins to flash out to a bright[ almost white-out] of the frame.

 The end frame clean w/o any Aeon Flux type left in.

 Here is a screen grab of the scene showing the various layers back in Z-Depth 3D space where I place each letter at a different distance from the camera, and then scaled them to appear the same size[ camera trick].

Project Review: Aeon Flux 2005
Motion Graphics 3D Animated Cards

Client: via The Cimarron Group.
Direction: Roland Mesa.
Project Date:  February 2005.

I did quite a few animated Title Cards in 3D for the Motion Graphics guys at The Cimarron Group during my 6 years with the company, with a few stragglers after my departure, as a freelancer the last few years as well, so I was seasoned enough for the task at hand for Aeon Flux the live action film adaptation of the MTV animated series form the 90's.

I was very familiar with Aeon Flux since we used Peter Chung to design out the main Characters for The Phantom 2040, an animated series I worked on in the 90s as well, but for this spot we wanted to show off a molecular-microscopic look, inspired by the amazing titles for the first Hollow Man film with a mixed up petri dish with type inside.

To accomplish the various levels of blur in the scene I designed the card to "land' in place at a variety of levels so the camera would naturally adjust the depth of field DOF, for each letter accentuating the 3D nature of these constantly moving title cards.

For today's part one we see a simple SUMMER' card I did as the first test look, and proceeded to do all 10 cards for the various TV spots for the film advertising work. A fun time for sure.

Cheers, THOM

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Project Review: Universal City Walk: Virtual Map Project 2004 PART I

An overhead shot of the full 3D Model I built of the City Walk Mall at Universal Studios Hollywood back in 2004.

 A ground level shot of "Wasabi" a sushi restaurant that I blocked out.

 A shot next door at Gladstones Seafood.

 The King Kong Icon across from the two above restaurants is seen here with the Nascar building.

 Here is a a shot at the main Cinema there.

Project Review
Universal City Walk
Virtual Map Project 2004 PART I

Client: Universal Studios Hollywood via The Cimarron Group.
Direction: Mary Ellen Schrock
Project Date: Spring 2004

When I was an in-house 3D Design Director at The Cimarron Group from 2003-2009, I regularly provided 3D design and animation for the corporate divisions big client, Universal Studios, and today I've posted PART I on the work I did on the virtual map of the City Walk Mall.

The concept started as a simple 3D blocked model of the whole outdoor mall that we could use as stylized images for the various locations at this themed mall next to the Park. Soon we discussed a interactive element with a virtual map of the mall that could help folks explore the mall before they came out to visit it to get familiar with the layout and offers there.

I built it out in stages with a full architectural model of the entire mall, as well as parking structures, the grounds around the mall, as well as the park entrance itself. Today I have posted four of the over tow dozen locations I made.

The design is simple with the attention in the 3D Signage and logos to help with the fact that this was a virtual 3D map. I will be posting added shots from the various locations in the weeks to come.

A fun project that was eventually replaced with photography in the end, but a fun exercise and concept.

As a side note I worked on one of the Themed stores that used to be there "Out Takes", and you can view those here.

                         Cheers, THOM

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Project Review The Phantom 2040 PART CXIX [119th] More Vehicle Designs

 Micro Cars and Cycle Cars were all over Metropia, especially at the dorms where Kit went to school, and here is a final inked line art drawing I did. The rough is here to see.

 Another micro car I designed and also inked above. The sketch is here.

 A little campus police vehicle I designed for the Phantom 2040 series. A color Key for this is here.

 Here is the internal detail sheet for Maxwell Madisons Hyper-Limo. You can see sketches here, here, and here.

Project Review
The Phantom 2040
PART CXIX [119th]
More Vehicle Designs

Client: Hearst Animation Productions.
Art Director: Myself.
Project Date Spring 1993.

Today in my 119th Phantom 2040 posting, and I had found some more scanned in images of vehicles I did so here are a few more today to show.
I had to create unique designs for various vehicles for the show, and for some like Maxwells Hyper-limo above I had a good day to work out the inside and multiple views. But for most, I only had about 30-45 minutes to do the design and move on.

Animation for television, especially a lower budgeted show like this only affords a short time for these background props. They usually are not even designed for most shows and the animators overseas in Korea will just make them up, but we wanted a bit more control of the design.

As a Car Design Major at ACCD, this was my staple sketching subject so I was able to get these designs into production fast and accurately.

I even did the final inks above myself to help out the prop department when they were bogged down with other designs to ink.

 If you are a FAN of The Phantom 2040, and on FACEBOOK, there is a group for that....  here.

There is a TAG on the list to the RIGHT for other Phantom 2o4o entry's, but you can click this as well.

Cheers, THOM