1. Guest Daily Render Artist: Allison House Leave a Comment

    Allison House

    Allison House

    We’d like to welcome Daily Render Guest Artist Allison House to our ongoing series of awesomeness. She will be taking over our daily render feed for the next 6 days. She is an amazing designer who cut her teeth in silicon valley with Dropbox, tackled a whole Tweedy music video in C4D, and now is spreading her love of 3D and design all over the world. Check out our interview with Allison below.

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    Can you start off by telling us a little bit about yourself?

    What’s up, party people?! I’m Allison House, a designer, visual artist, and educator. I spend my days jamming on 3D art and illustration projects from my studio in Austin, TX. If you’re into lo-fi geometric art with an aggressive neon streak, you might dig my stuff!

    I’m also on the road a lot for speaking events, where I show other creative people how totally not scary 3D can be. One of my big projects right now is, an introductory Cinema 4D course for designers and illustrators.

    How did you get your start in design?

    My background is in software and technology, so I got into design through that. I made my first website as a pre-teen, an ode to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and was hooked on that rush of making something out of nothing. Working on the web is so great for this—for very little cost, you can make something really interesting and beautiful. I’m still chasing down that feeling.

    At 15, I started my first web design business. I called competitors from my bedroom and pitched phony projects, then undercut their quoted prices. That’s how I know teenage girls are cutthroat. I don’t mess with ‘em.

    How did you go from 2D to 3D? What was that transition like?

    A few years ago, I had a pretty decent design career in technology. I was shaping the future of storage as a product designer at Dropbox. Yes, from my bedroom in Florida to a Silicon Valley rocketship! That means I made it, right? Except… I was getting tired of designing apps. Everything I made was the same inoffensive shade of blue or gray. My rate of production dwindled.

    Designing apps didn’t make me come alive any more. When I left Dropbox, I dug into my curiosity and endeavored to find out what would. Playing with Cinema 4D for the first time was like writing my first few lines of code. Earth-shattering, deep-down, gut-level excitement. Something out of nothing. Best day of my life.

    Some of Allison’s most early work:

    Can you tell us about the Tweedy music video? How did that come together?

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned between hiring at Dropbox and teaching in the classroom, it’s that top performers have this in common: they produce an enormous amount of work. I’ve never had much luck scheduling or micromanaging myself, so I developed a practice that doesn’t require a whole lot of self-discipline. Rather than summoning the willpower to start a session, I make it automatic by chaining it on another activity I already do every day. I call that my “second shift”.

    After a few weeks of this, I had already developed a portfolio’s worth of work. That’s when Spencer Tweedy reached out. He and his dad (Jeff Tweedy, Wilco frontman) had recently kicked up a band called Tweedy, and they were about to release their first single, Summer Noon. He asked if I could do a full-length music video for them.

    Technically, I could not! The longest animation I’d made up to that point was 2 seconds.  But I said yes anyway, downloaded a 30-day trial of Adobe Premiere, and figured it out over three weeks.

    Blog post:


    We noticed you’ve got a lot going on. How do you balance it all?

    Chill hard, thaw hard. When I hear people talk about balance, it’s always scoped to the daily level. You do some work, then come home and do some life. I can’t operate like that. That’s context-switching multiple times a day! Instead, I work and play in long cycles. Two weeks knocking out a project. Three days playing a video game. Five days jamming on a project. Five days making my own stuff. Chill hard, thaw hard.

    What’s in your Everyday Carry? What tools, hardware, drinks, foods can you not live without on a daily basis?

    I’ve become a HUGE fan of Signal in the last few weeks. I was starting to do more still illustration in my practice sessions because it’s fast to produce. Now I’m like, “Okay, I’m done. What can I animate?” Signal just makes it too easy.

    Do you have any advice for graphic designers looking to get into 3D?

    Yes! To all designers and illustrators: 3D NEEDS YOUR TALENTS. You don’t need to have the latest hardware (I started learning on an old MacBook Air) or create realistic, chromed-out renders to be successful in this space. Bring your innate creative talent, excitement to learn, and find a deliberate action to take right now. 3D for Designers is a great place to start!

    Follow Allison on Instagram


    Leave a Comment Posted 1 week ago
  2. How to Quickly Create a Topographic Map in Cinema 4D 20 Comments

    In this tutorial I’m going to break down how you can easily create a topographical map inside of Cinema 4D!  First, I’ll cover how to setup a Landscape Object and then how to then easily slice it into layers. Then I’ll demonstrate how to use the sliced layers to generate splines that will then be used to extrude to make each of the topographic levels.  Finally, I’ll light our scene and go over how to apply a colorful texture to the topographic map based on height (and even show some useful XPresso along the way!)

    QUICK TIP:  For R17 users out there, be sure to use the new Spline Smooth tool to be able to smooth out those dense points to create rounder edges on your topographic layers.

    If you have any questions, be sure to post it in the comments section and if you create anything cool using this topographic technique, be sure to share it with me! Thanks for watching!

    This was recorded live on the C4DLive Twitch stream.  To get alerted for future live design casts & get sneak peeks at new tutorials before anyone else, sign up for the Eyedesyn Newsletter.


    Visit for more from EJ

    20 Comments Posted 2 weeks ago
  3. Half Rez 5 Leave a Comment


    Greyscalegorilla, Chicago C4D, and Maxon US are proud to present Half Rez 2016!

    It is that time again! Time for our Fifth Half Rez Event!

    Our attendance continues to grow every year and Lincoln Hall always treats us well, so we’re heading back there. Half Rez is the place meet, greet, learn, and party. Visit for more details and to register.

    What Is Half Rez?

    We started Half Rez to bring together 3D and 2D artists, animators and designers for a night of learning, drinking and hanging out.

    We have presentations planned from amazing designers and tons of fun games and prizes to give away. Come hang out with like-minded folks, join us in celebrating our craft, and learn from each other in a fun relaxed atmosphere! Check out the videos below from the last few years to see for yourself.

    Head on over to our official HalfRez page to register. There you will find the details about the show and by signing up, it will let everyone know who is coming and also help us out to make sure we have enough food there for everyone. Did I mention there will be free food to soak up the beer?

    OK, so who’s coming?

    Register Now at


    Half Rez 3 Recap Video



    Leave a Comment Posted 2 weeks ago
  4. Your Depth Pass is Wrong. 115 Comments

    Lil’ Coffee Breakdown: All Motion Blur and Depth of Field was added in After Effects.

    I realize that the title here is a bit bold, but in my case (and possibly) yours, this is very true. I ran into a fellow artist who at an event who pleaded with me to cover this issue. This artist did not have a giant render farm, nor did he have a multi-GPU setup using Octane. He simply wanted to know the correct workflow for doing Depth of Field and Motion Blur in After Effects. A method that didn’t result in artifacts or other anomalies. So, as I promised, here it is.

    “A WHOLE tutorial about the Depth Pass?”

    Yes and no. This tutorial is about saving a TON of render time by NOT having to render your Depth of Field and Motion Blur in C4D’s Physical Renderer. With a couple of After Effect plugins and the correct workflow, you can save yourself potentially hours of rendering.

    What you will learn:

    • How to add Motion Blur and Depth of Field to your C4D render in After Effects
    • What is needed out of a Depth Pass to achieve proper results with Frischluft Lenscare
    • What a “Position” pass or WPP is and how it can be used to generate a correct Depth pass
    • How to set up a multi-layer EXR output for After Effects
    • How to properly set up your After Effects comp with Frischluft Depth of Field and RSMB plugins (see links below)

    Tools you’ll need:

    Let’s Get to the Tutorial*

    * So Ihab in the comments found a mistake, so thanks Ihab! Looks like I grabbed the regular RSMB plugin and not the Pro Vector version which reads your vector pass. Sorry about that folks. Grabbing this Pro Vector version and choosing your vector pass will give you more accurate motion blur results.



    115 Comments Posted 3 weeks ago