Posted On:2015 | Greyscalegorilla

standard

How Greyscalegorilla Got Its Start – An Interview with Nick Campbell

December 23, 2015 - By 

Rob Garrott of lynda.com interviews Nick about his inspiration to start Greyscalegorilla.com. An in depth look at his background, how he got his start and how that morphed into what Greyscalegorilla is today.

Garrott also interviews other industry professionals in this course. Here is a summary of the series:

Rob Garrott, lynda.com’s video content manager, got the chance to sit down with nine influential artists to talk about their work, their inspirations, their tools, and the industry as a whole. The series kicks off with a conversation with Kris Pearn, storyboard artist for Sony Animation, and one of the people “drawing the movement” behind movies like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. We also include interviews with the following industry pros:

  • Nick Campbell, motion graphics artist, photographer, and entrepreneur
  • Marc Potocnik, designer and 3d artist
  • Tim Clapham, VFX artist and educator
  • Alan Torres and Stephen Morton (Cantina Creative), design and visual effects artists
  • Aaron Limonick, concept artist
  • Mike Lowes, 3D animator and technical director
  • Lorcan O’Shanahan, motion graphics artist
  • Scott Keating, 3D artist and illustrator
  • Clear Menser, visual effects artist
  • John Robson, motion graphics artist and filmmaker
  • Grant Miller, VFX supervisor
  • Tomasz Opasinski, creative director and movie poster artist

You can watch the interview here on lynda.com.

A special thanks to Lynda and Rob Garrott for the interview.


standard

Animating BB-8 With Cinema 4D And Signal

December 21, 2015 - By 

If you did not spend the last 30 years on a uncharted island, you probably heard about this thing called Star Wars. A couple days ago the 7th episode came out and introduced to us BB-8, a new spherical droid. Right after being introduced in the trailer, quickly became a fan’s favorite and the fastest selling Star Wars toy.

I became a little scared that BB-8 was just an attempt to replace R2-D2 or to sell merchandising, but in the end his place in the movie was totally justified and it did gain my affection. I stumbled upon this free model of BB-8 online, that is pretty accurate and seemed like it would look great in motion.

The first step was to build the floor. It is a simple plane with a tiling sand texture on it. A noise is used to have some details and displacement gives the relief. An FFD deformer is then applied to slightly curve the plane and hide the hard edges. Finally, Signal is used to offset the texture over time, creating the illusion of movement.

Then, three layers of mountains are built using the default Landscape object. Two of them are repeating so they can loop while moving, and a third, distant one is static. By offseting the two first layers a parallax effect gives a lot of depth, and makes the furtest-back mountain look distant rather than static. Each mountain is being moved at the same speed as the scrolling floor with Signal.

 

The Parallax effect is reinforced with foreground objects, as well as a repeating fence between BB-8 and the landscapes, all being moved at constant speed with Signal. Here’s how it looks from a different angle:

Next, BB-8 needs to be animated. For that, 4 Signal tags are needed. One drives the body rotation using constant motion, one drives the up-and-down motion with random noise, one drives the head position and the last one the head’s rotation, both with random noise as drivers.

It’s now time to put all the elements together, and make sure everything loops correctly and stays in frame. To make the motion seem more dynamic, two more Signal noises are added to the camera’s position and rotation.

Then, the scene was lit using a directional light and an ambiant light, as well as ambiant occlusion. It was rendered in the Cinema 4D Physical renderer with both Depth of Field and Motion blur. Finally, color correction and lighting effects were added in After Effects.

I did a few couple of high quality stills, and added some grain in Photoshop:

And that’s it! All it took was a couple of Signal tags and built in effects to make this little guy come to life.

Get the BB-8 model here.
See the project on Dribbble

Learn more about Ivan:
Ivan’s Portfolio
Ivan’s Dribbble
Ivan’s Free VJ Loops


standard

Free Light Saber Model For Cinema 4D

December 19, 2015 - By 


To celebrate The Premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we are giving away a model Chris made during a live stream from this week.

Click here to download this Free Light Saber Cinema 4D Model

Inside the ZIP, you will see two different versions. One is the render you see above, lit with HDRI Studio Pack. If you don’t own HDRI Studio Pack, no problem, just open the textured and unlit version of the scene.

If you render anything with it, post a link to your render in the comments. We would love to see the results.

Wanna see how Chris modeled this? Watch the live stream recording below and see the exact techniques Chris used to model this Light Saber in Cinema 4D.

Live Cast Recording


standard

Five Second Projects “Storage” Winners

December 10, 2015 - By 

Winner

The votes are in and we have our big winner. Congratulations to Lieve Keustermans for submitting the winning animation, “Cloud Storage.” Your funny animation caught the eye of the judges, and, lucky for Lieve, this earned him a great prize!

Our amazing sponsor TarDisk has offered up a first and second place prize, so Lieve will be taking home a 256GB TarDisk to gain some extra space on his hard drive. Our second place finisher, Kirsten Brown, has scored a 128GB TarDisk for her animation that takes a brief look at the progression of storage!

2nd Place

Of course, we had a lot of great submissions, so check out the Honorable Mentions section, as well.  Some great submissions inspired by the word,”Storage!”

Again, a special thanks to our amazing sponsor, TarDisk! Make sure to check out how they can help you get extra space on your hard drive!

Never done a five second project? Not sure what it is? Check out this page and we will see you back here soon.

Honorable Mentions

 


standard

X-Particles 3.5 Is Here!

November 30, 2015 - By 

Insydium launched X-Particles 3.5 today. It’s a wonderful new update to an already powerful plugin. Now, you can drive your millions of particles with music, or even control your particle groups with light! To celebrate the launch of 3.5, we are having a sale.

Upgrades

If you already own X-Particles 3, than this is a completely FREE update. Even better you don’t have to do a thing – the update will happen automatically in Cinema 4D.

If you own 2.5, you can purchase an upgrade to 3.5 and continue to get all the updated features in the latest versions.

What’s New in 3.5?

X-Particles added some great new Modifiers and features in 3.5 to make it even more powerful and to give you more control of your millions of particles. Check out some of the features and videos below.

Sound Modifier


Tutorial for the Sound Modifier coming this week!

Trail Deformer

Enhanced Particle Groups

Data Mapping

Full List Of New Features In 3.5

  • Sound Modifier – Drive Your Particles with sound! This one is super fun to use.
  • Illumination Based Emissions – Use C4D lights to trigger particle emissions from surfaces.
  • Data Mapping – Easily Map Modifier Data onto other particle settings.
  • Trail Deformer – Easily Animate Particle Trails.
  • Particles Falloff – Now you can use particles as single Falloff Objects.

Look for more X-Particles 3.5 tutorials coming soon to Greyscalegorilla. Happy Particles!!!


standard

Topcoat: Making Reflectance Simple

November 23, 2015 - By 

Maxon introduced Reflectance In Version R16. It completely replaced the Reflection channel and it gave us the ability to make realistic layered textures never before possible.

As soon as I started seeing the results from this new Reflectance channel, I fell in love. It gave us layered looks and realistic renders that just weren’t possible in C4D before. Combine this new Reflectance with HDRIs and the Physical renderer and photoreal results were not only possible, they were possible without buying a third party renderer.

I was so excited that we could get something that looked THIS great with built in Cinema 4D tools. Finally, anyone with Cinema 4D could render a scene that approached the quality I previously only have seen with Vray.

However, there were a few problems. Sure, the renders were beautiful. But the new Reflectance channel brought quite a few hurdles for designers trying to get the most out of this new tool.

Problem 1 – The Reflectance Interface

The new Reflectance interface completely replaced the old reflection channel and specular channel that everyone was used to. In it’s place is a confusing set of names, modes, menus, and sliders. The power of these new channels are undeniable, but between the tedious list of reflection types and hidden drop-downs it was hard to navigate and tricky to make what used to be simple changes.

The entire interface seems like something that was made by technicians, for technicians. It definitely wasn’t made for designers and everyday Cinema 4D users like us.

Problem 2 – The Render Speed

The beautiful results of Reflectance came at another price. VERY long render times. Combine blurry, layered reflections with the physical renderer and it’s a recipe for overnight renders or grainy results. The default presets that come with Cinema 4D don’t help much either. Anything over the medium quality settings and it was guaranteed that you will be waiting for that render for hours instead of minutes.

Problem 3 – Can’t Change Multiple Textures At Once

OK, this was the one that really got me. In almost every other parameter in Cinema 4D, you could select multiple similar objects and change their settings all at once. I did this all the time with textures. I would select half a dozen textures all at once and give them all the same reflection settings. It was super intuitive, useful, and a big part of my workflow.

The reflectance channel removed that workflow entirely. There is no way to add reflection to multiple textures all at once, and even if you managed to make them similar, if you want to adjust them all together, that’s impossible too. It was the weirdest of all problems in this new Reflectance future.

Now What?

So here we are. Blessed with a beautiful first rate render engine and texture engine in Cinema 4D. But, it’s interface, speed hit, and non Cinema 4D like workflow got in the way of the average user to start using these tools. In fact, as we started talking to our customers, many people didn’t upgrade to new versions of Cinema 4D specifically because of the new Reflectance channel.

Well, any time we see problems like this in Cinema 4D, our minds start spinning. Is there anything we can do to take this beautiful render engine and expose it’s beauty to designers without them knowing all the weird technical stuff of the current Reflectance Engine? Was there a way that we could speed up the rendering process to help studios and freelancers hit their deadlines with great looking renders? We have worked for months on this idea and I want to show it to you now.

Introducing Topcoat™

Topcoat is a new texturing tool from Greyscalegorilla that we think will help solve these problems and add a simple and fast workflow to your toolset for your next project. We want everyone to be able to use this new Reflectance layer and we think Topcoat is the answer.

With Topcoat, we set out to build a tool that would make reflectance fun and easy to apply to your scene. Not a laborious task of sifting through settings. We also include our new Render Fast™ Presets to take the guess work out of picking the fastest and most beautiful Render Settings for your scene. We even brought back the ability for you to add reflection to multiple textures all at once.

Mostly, we built a tool that helps you get the most from Reflectance and helps you add beautiful realistic textures and reflections to your next project.

Combine eight custom paint coats and over 20 procedural bumps and masks together to make unique materials for your renders. It’s as easy as pointing and clicking.

Learn More About Topcoat Here


standard

Five Second Projects “Harvest” Winners

October 30, 2015 - By 

Winner

The votes have been tallied and we have our winner. It was a clean sweep among our judges this time around!  Congrats to Nicola Gastaldi for submitting the winning animation, “Sow and reap and then again.”

Of course, we had a lot of great submissions, so check out the Honorable Mentions section, as well.  Some clever takes on the word, “Harvest!”

Special thanks to our amazing sponsor TarDisk. Make sure to check out how they can help you get extra space on your hard drive!

Never done a five second project? Not sure what it is? Check out this page and we will see you back here soon.

Honorable Mentions

 


standard

Five Second Project “Mini Golf” Winners

October 2, 2015 - By 

Winner

The votes have been tallied and we have our winner! Congratulations to Sam Turner for taking the cake!! Your creative and clever take on mini golf went over quite well with our judges!

There was a plethora of awesome entries, so check out the Honorable Mentions section, as well. What a strong start to this season of Five Second Projects!

Special thanks to our amazing sponsor TarDisk. Make sure to check out how they can help you get extra space on your hard drive!

Never done a five second project? Not sure what it is? Check out this page and we will see you back here soon.

Honorable Mentions


standard

Q&A With Beeple About His Latest Animation, ZERO-DAY

September 23, 2015 - By 

Beeple has been posting his creative work every day for over 3000 days straight. If that wasn’t enough, he recently posted ZERO-DAY, the most recent animation in his “instrumental video” series.

We asked him a few questions about his process for ZERO-DAY and about how in the heck he continues to stay so prolific?

Thanks for answering some questions about your new project, Mike. You seem like such a motivated and hard working guy. What keeps you going with all these great projects?

Hahaha, honestly I really don’t feel like that. I feel like it’s a constant struggle to stay focused and productive each day. Damn you interwebz and your engaging content!! 🙂

No, I think the main thing that motivates me is seeing all the amazing work out there and wanting to try to make something like it. The main motivations for this piece were people who do amazing robot and mech designs like Vitaly Bulgorov, Aaron Beck, Greg Broadmore, Mike Nash etc.

What inspired you to make Zero-Day?

Well this is part of a larger “instrumental video” series that I’ve been working on for the last 10+ years. If you look at “IV.10” and “instrumental video nine” it’s the pretty clear next step. I really like making audio and video super tightly synced as I think it illicits some sort of visceral response.

Based on the themes from Transparent Machines and Zero Day, you seem to have some thoughts on the way technology is changing society. Would you say you are optimistic or pessimistic about the future of a tech connected world?

I would say I am cautiously optimistic. I think technology is doing a huge amount of good and will continue to. I do think there are some potential pitfalls but I think things are changing so fast that there really isn’t gonna be a lot of time to stop and realize if things are getting fucked until it’s too late.

I think these videos might come across as paranoid or very pessimistic but they are really more sort of exaggerations of a worst case sci-fi scenario. There is plenty of technologies like AR, VR, self-driving cars, etc. that I am BEYOND jacked up for. I think these things have the *potential* to be extremely positive for society.

ZERO-DAY Process Video

What was the most difficult part about this project?

Hmmm, I think just sort of defining the scope of the project. I really never have a clear idea about where these things are going when I start. I shit you not, at one point the second half of the film was gonna have a bunch of snippets of 70’s porn on the walls and the film was gonna be more about like how we have this weird machine fetish culture. I even downloaded a bunch of old porn and edit it in to see how it would look. HAHAHA. So this shit is really all over the place until the very end. At best i have a loose grasp on where the hell this shit is going.

The audio is so great and very integrated to the animation for Zero Day. What was the process like with working with Standingwave?

I’ve known Kyle for a very long time and he did the sound design on Transparent Machines, Subprime, etc. This was the first time though that I’ve had someone else do the music for an “instrumental video”. Which was a bit of a learning curve but Kyle does amazing work and he killed it. Never ceases to come up with great ideas or push things in directions I never thought of.

I’ve noticed you using Octane more. How has Octane Changed your Design or Animation Process?

Honestly it’s very hard for me to imagine going back to the standard renderer. Not until the put in a live viewer at least. Can’t overstate how amazing and helpful that is. Really changes everything for someone like me who has no idea what they’re doing and is just pushing buttons until something looks cool.

One last thing. What is your favorite artist to listen to when working?

Oh god, I could sit here and be like, I love all this super obscure cool crap (which i usually do) but lately I’ve been listening to just fucking horrible shitty like 90’s rap music like puff daddy and like nelly and shit. HHAHAH, so fucking random and weird. I’m this fucking nerdy ass middle aged white dude all dressed up sitting in his basement alone making robot animations listening to DMX… LOLOL. WTFFFF.


standard

AskGSG Season One Recap And A Preview Of Season Two

September 21, 2015 - By 

Thanks to everyone for making season one of ASKGSG amazing. From the great questions, the generous support on Patreon, and the incredibly helpful chatroom we were able to create dozens of episodes.

Season Two Starts This Week!

We’re gearing up for season two beginning on Wednesday the 23rd of September. Mark your calendar, get those questions ready and ask Nick and Chris LIVE. We have so much more in store including special guests and special tutorials only for people who watch live. See you then!


standard

Half Rez Hangover

September 10, 2015 - By 

I woke up this morning and thought back at last night’s Half Rez with a huge smile on my face and a full heart. What a great night!

I wish I had more time to talk to each and every one of you that were able to join us. I met people from all over the world that traveled to hang out and say hi. Amazing!

It’s truly humbling to see an event like this happen. The Chicago motion graphics community has always been an inviting and warm place to share and talk about what we love to do, but last night was something else entirely.

Thank You

Thank you to EVERYONE who came to Half Rez. It wouldn’t be the same without you there.

Thank you to our sponsors! Without them, the night could not happen. A big shout out to MaxonUSA and Insydium for their huge support. Please let them know we appreciate them!

Half Rez Sponsors

Thank you to everyone who helped out last night. Your generosity and talent helped make Half Rez a top class event.

It’s so great to see this event grow into what it has. I’m honored and lucky to be a part of such a wonderful community.

Cheers,
Nick Campbell


standard

Half Rez 2015 Bumpers

September 10, 2015 - By 

Welcome to Half Rez

This year we reached out to David Brodeur to create some bumpers for Half Rez 4. We wanted to share these with everyone who couldn’t join us in person. Thanks also to Zelig Sound for doing the sound design.

Half Rez Looping Animation

Sponsor Animation

David was nice enough to put together a breakdown of his process.

Scene Breakdown

Audio by Zelig Sound