Blender “Little Planet” Tutorial

On my journey to learn Blender I found this tutorial by Studio Gearnoodle on Youtube.

I took the opportunity to practice modelling, animating and lighting techniques I learned so far and model my own mushrooms and buildings. Basically I am trying to apply the knowledge I’ve acquired for the past 25 years doing 3D to the Blender interface.

I gotta say, Blender is on to something here. They really are taking the right direction and are providing a full fleshed package and with their philosophy of “everything nodes” the potential is huge. And free! Yes, OpenSource!

“Unleash the beast” – Houdini

On my journey to leave Maya behind me and not being involved in any 3D production work I started to learn some Houdini.

Since I saw it the first time back at Siggraph in 1996 I was drawn to it. But my professional jobs never left any time to dig into it.

I really love Houdini and I find it the best package out there. But… It became very clear very fast that to become proficient in using it would need a large junk of time.

Nevertheless here’s my interpretation of a tutorial by Nine Between.

Institute of Pharmacology “T-Cell Animation”

This is an animation showing a T-Cell that connects to a cell and is able to discharge when the cell is not covered with sugar crystals but fails if the cell is completely covered.

From Autumn 2019 until Summer 2021 I worked in the research group of Prof. Stephan von Gunten at the “Institute of Pharmacology” at the University of Bern, Bern Switzerland, as a 3D instructor and animator.

Institute of Pharmacology “Virus Animation”

This is an animation about the process of a virus docking to a cell, entering the cell and getting the cell to replicate the virus multiple times and the replicated viruses exiting the cell.

From Autumn 2019 until Summer 2021 I worked in the research group of Prof. Stephan von Gunten at the “Institute of Pharmacology” at the University of Bern, Bern Switzerland, as a 3D instructor and animator.

Xaelander – Previz in Maya

I just completed recording a small animation in Maya using the new Xaelander X2R2 hardware testing the upcoming Xaelander software release.

I think it documents nicely what the Xaelander software suite is capable off. It demonstrates animating a walk cycle on the primary character and animating the secondary character. The powerful two point 3D camera tracking and animating a special effect by capturing motion onto a locator.

I look at the short video and think “Even if I captured every part ten times, I created that animation in about 20 minutes. An experienced storyboard artist could probably come close nailing that shot in 20 minutes. But a previz animator should never ever have to just float his characters around anymore – they should make them walk around.”

Xaelander - Maya Previz

Porsche Design – Worldtimer

Two of the biggest challenges in creating watch animations are that most likely if you get to animate a watch it means it doesn’t exist yet. So you got to cobble together the look of the real material in that particular shape and finish. The other challenge is the that most watches are only visible because they reflect their environment. Now to do that for still shots is somewhat easier than animations because, even in real life, reflections on such a small object can become erratic and you end up animating the environment which can make the 3D scene somewhat complex.

Here’s the three 3D animation we made as freelancers for MDI Production in Neuchatel/Switzerland in collaboration with two freelancer animators from France, Geoffrey Dupuy (Storyboards, 3D animation) and Nicolas Parreira (3D animation, Expression setup, materials, rendering). The AfterEffects work was done by Mathias Schmid who was in his last weeks of his apprenticeship as a media designer at MDI.

I was supervised the project for Franco. COnverted and prepared all the models from CAD to Maya. My main focus was on animating, texturing, lighting the Porsche Design Worldtimer and i was responsible for rendering all the animations on the 30 CPU render farm. I basically slept next to 8 PC’s setting the alarm clock every 2 hours. Yes, it was hot and noisy.

Watch Animation – 2007 – Porsche Design "WorldTimer" from Alex Furer on Vimeo.

Watch Animation – 2007 – Eterna "Vaughan Big Date" from Alex Furer on Vimeo.

Watch Animation – 2007 – Eterna "Vision" from Alex Furer on Vimeo.