Founder/Director, Gnomon


Been playing with Maya, World Machine, Redshift, etc as I get ready for demos in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, next month at Gnomon Live. The goal is to give a variety of tips and workflow ideas as I create a scene which will include some things made on the fly while populating the scene with elements from my library. Hopefully I can share something useful to those who attend! Below are some images that I've added to the 3D Development section as these aren't planned images, just things made while messing around. The character models are the only things I didn't make, but downloaded from RenderPeople.... although I did swap the heads on a couple with ZBrush sculpts. :)


New personal work to test out Redshift with a relatively heavy scene, as well Redshift proxies. As one would expect the interactivity of IPR did slow down, but easily managed by using display layers to hide/show objects. Render time for 4k was about 90 minutes with dual Pascal TitanX cards, although I did crank settings higher than likely necessary since it was for a still. This is still super fast, especially since both 3D fog and DOF are on! I'll note that the DOF is what requires higher sampling, so if I were to do the DOF in post the render time would likely be cut in half... 45min for 4k? Pretty darn cool for a scene like this... I still haven't played with Redshift's AOVs, so this is a straight 32bit EXR render with just a little tweaking in Photoshop with the Camera Raw filter. I also set-up a bunch of Megascan materials that are ready to go for future projects, using several of their rock and leaf materials for this scene. Anyhow... has been a great experience so far switching over to Redshift and GPU rendering!


A couple weeks ago I decided to try out GPU rendering. After doing some research and talking to a few people, I was steered towards Redshift. Several studios have been using it and it seemed worth trying out. Was simply curious. A couple years back I switched from Mental Ray to V-Ray and the idea of converting my library of assets, again, was not super appealing. But, fun to try something new nonetheless. Anyhow, after a weekend with Redshift... holy $@#*! Running on a single 980 card it was insanely fast. IPR became useful for complex scenes including fog and DOF, seemingly about 10x faster than Vray. And easier... less fuss to manage sampling as the speed allows for the use of high rates and Brute force. And a bunch of other things but to sum up. It is cool and I've 100% switched. Just spent a couple weeks converting my library. Also upgraded my machine from a single 980 to dual TitanX cards. Yay for nVidia... and Redshift!

Here's a quick test I did after converting my library. IPR constantly refreshing as I imported random assets, set up a couple lighting styles with DOF and fog... all in about an hour. Really fun...

Regrading and Uprezzing

Decided to spend some time over the winter break going through older experiments that had potential, but were only rendered at 1280x720 to see what I could do with them. In the process I also decided to uprez some of the images in the 3D stills gallery to 4k. I recently got a new 30" monitor and some of the images in the gallery looked a little small! The images below are the result of some of the time spent adjusting textures and regrading / color correcting. Of the few I played with, I think I like these two the most...


And... I have a YouTube page. Added some misc animations as well as an entire tutorial on the making of Dirge: a lecture from the Gnomon Workshop. Still not much there for now, but hopefully I can record some more casual tutorials and things to put in there if time permits. Ultimately there are some things I'd be happy to share in regards to process that don't really need to be an 'official' Gnomon Workshop title. So we will see... but for now... it's a start!


New image... inspired by Titus Canyon in Death Valley. This summer I spent some time experimenting with Photogrammetry and created a bunch of assets such as tree trunks, logs, rocks and cliff faces. Fun to have an excuse to get in the car, find cool things and take a bunch of photos in order to build models with PhotoScan. This image incorporates a few, specifically the tree on the right, a couple small logs and rocks on the ground and the cliff wall on the left of the image... so about 35% of the screen real estate. The rest is made in Maya, ZBrush and a little bit of World Machine. Textures are a combo of 3D and some Photoshop overlays just to be quick about it.

Ladder Canyon: R2's journey to Mecca

This is a five mile hike near Mecca, CA... in the canyons east of the Salton Sea. The R2 that you'll spot is actually mine from when I was a kid... i.e. I've had that little dude since 1978...! He's a little battered and missing his middle foot, but holding on nonetheless... given that he's 37 years old. Oi... that's weird. Anyhow, this was an awesome hike, with various forks in the trail that were marked by arrows made out of rocks by past travelers. Without them it would have been easy to get very very lost... So thank you... whoever you are.

Death Valley

New galley in the photography section! Decided to try my hand at shooting bracketed photos for HDR tonemapping... so I drove out to Death Valley on a four day exploration. Album also includes some things along the way such as Vasquez Rocks, Fossil Falls and Mojave. Definitely was an inspiring journey... makes any attempt at digital landscape making seem a little futile. Heh. Turns out that HDR tonemapping is really fun but man... definitely just stepped into a rabbit hole! Time to figure out where i'm heading to next...