Posted On:September 2013 | Greyscalegorilla


How To Start A User Group In Your Town

September 27, 2013 - By 

I’ve talked a lot about the importance of local user meet-ups, so I decided to invite the founders from two of the largest Chicago animation user groups to talk about how they got started, how they run the event, and if they have any advice to someone that is trying to start a user group in their town.

First we talk to Chris and Jack who started Chicago C4D. Then we talk to Brad from Chicago Motion Artist Group.

It’s easy to argue that Local user groups and meet-ups are the best way to meet other people who are into what you are doing. It’s a great place to find work and friends in the industry. So many artists are stuck at the “I am pretty good at what I do” stage, but fail to get out and meet the people that will start and eventually make their career.

Some Take-aways from the interview

  • If your home town doesn’t have a user group, start one! It’s easier than you think.
  • Get like minded people in a room. It can be that simple.
  • Use existing social platforms like Facebook and Twitter to organize an event.
  • If your town DOES have a meet-up, go!
  • Hanging around other people that do what you do is a great way to start to get a job doing what you like doing.


Five Second Project “Homework” Winners

September 12, 2013 - By 


Congratulations to Space Pumpkin for winning the Five Second Project for August. The whimsical artwork and timing really stood out for us in this entry.

Be sure to check out some of the other great entries below. The next Five Second Project will be announced soon.

Honorable Mentions


Announcing Half Rez 2013

September 9, 2013 - By 

Greyscalegorilla and Chicago C4D are proud to present Half Rez 2013. We started Half Rez last year to bring together 3D and 2D artists, animators and designers for a night of learning, drinking and hanging.

This year we have some great things planned including presentations by local Chicago artists, free food, and a great venue at Haymarket Brewpub in Chicago’s West Loop area. Sign up at our official Half Rez page and let us know you are coming so we can plan properly as far as food and stuff. This year’s Half Rez is graciously sponsored by Maxon and other sponsors are confirming soon. Last year was really a lot of fun. We hope to see you there.

Sign Up For Half Rez 2013

Watch the Video From Last Year’s Half Rez

Haymarket Pub
737 W Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60661

October 9th 2013

Motion Designers and 3D artists of all types.

Let’s be honest, most of us work behind computers all day. Come join us at Half Rez to get away from the black rectangle for a while and to hang with and learn from other professionals and beginners just like yourself.

Sign Up For Half Rez 2013


Cinema 4D Project Profile: Appliance Repair Guys with Loosekeys

September 5, 2013 - By 

We love seeing learning in action. When the team over at Loosekeys shared a project with us in which they extensively used Cinema 4D, we wanted to find out more about it. We connected with Brad Chmielewski and Jake Williams to get some thoughts about their experience.

Tell us a little about your company.

LooseKeys’ primary focus is creating videos that tell a business’ or company’s story, whether that’s with explainer videos, commercials or interviews. LooseKeys takes the sometimes complicated ideas or services a business offers and simplifies it for the audience. We’ve been around for about 2 and half years.

Does LooseKeys do a lot of 3D work?

We tend to only do full 3D animated videos like this maybe once or twice a year or so. Every so often we get an itch to push what we’re doing and to see how we can tell a simplified story with the flexibility of 3D. We do a lot of 2D character work for our explainers that can be enhanced just by adding in some touches of 3D.

Tell us a little bit about this project.

This video was made for Appliance Repair Guys, they are an appliance repair company located in Canada. Since this was going to be 3D most of the time was spent upfront with the character designs, modeling and set-up. Modeling isn’t a strength of mine, which is why I reached out to Jess Donofrio for help. The animation portion was done over a period of about 4 weeks including revisions.

While Jess was working on modeling, I focused on getting the script and voice over taken care of so we wouldn’t have any delays in the animation. Our first rough cut for the client was in the middle of June which gave Jess about three weeks to model and light. Jake and I took a week and roughed out all the scenes. From there we worked on the overall animation, tweaking and adding what we could. The client feedback was pretty simple but any small change typically took awhile with the rendering.

How were the characters designed and modeled?

Jess Donofrio: I love these characters. This is a style I’ve been wanting to work in for awhile now. The minimal cubist style needs to be as simple as possible. Figuring out which polygons need to be split and tweaked away from the cube and which can be left, was tricky. I needed to find that balance of just enough detail that the models were clear and interesting, but not too much that they lost the clean cubist look. The male character is where I started, and he was pretty easy to keep very square and boxy. The female was more difficult – women are inherently not square, so I had to do a lot of tweaking to carve a feminine form from a cube while staying true to our style. I loved the challenge, modeling characters is like a fun game to me – It is my favorite thing to work on. I also needed to make sure the models and scenes were light and able to render easily. I try to set up the scenes that will make it easy for Brad to take everything and work his animating magic.

Why did you choose Cinema 4D as the tool for this project?

We needed to be up and running in such a short time that we needed a tool that would be familiar. With the amount of knowledge we can tap into from the Cinema 4D community, it went a long way to making Cinema 4D the obvious choice for this project.

What was the most challenging thing about this project?

Simply the undertaking of a 3D project is often a headache for a small team like LooseKeys. You have to plan better because everything takes a little longer. We were worried there would be a learning curve that wouldn’t correlate well with our deadline. However, coming from After Effects, within a day were up and running with Cinema 4D like we had been using it for months.

Did you use any Greyscalegorilla tools in this project?

Jess Donofrio: I looked around a lot to find the best light set up for our piece. Brad wanted the world to be really bright and fresh looking. I wanted to find a solution that Brad and Jake could easily incorporate into every scene with minimal tweaking, that was light to render, and was bright enough to light up our white world we wanted. The Greyscalegorilla DayLight rig was right on for us. The clean user controls made it quick and easy to achieve the look we wanted.

Jake Williams: As Jess mentioned, the Greyscalegorilla DayLight rig went a long way for us on this project. Because I was really digging into the software as I went through this project, having an easily manipulable lighting rig made all the difference. After just messing around with the settings between scenes, I knew quickly which parameters created which results, which made the workflow that much more efficient.

In hindsight, is there anything you would have done differently?

I don’t know that I’d change anything about the way we pulled this project together, mainly because it acted as one big learning experiment for us. We kept the style and motion of the piece very basic, light, and fun. It fits nicely in the portfolio of LooseKeys work and really shows that we can put another dimension to our work. We’re really happy with what the three of us were able to put together and I’m happy to have such talented people working with me.

Learn more about how Loosekeys handled the project and the challenges they faced by listening to their Appliance Repair Guys Audio Project Recap