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Annual Update

I suppose it’s that time of year to update my blog. It’s been over a year since my last post and what a year it has been! We are moving along nicely at Creature Art and Mechanics developing some great technology and working on some interesting projects. Being on the business and financial side of a start-up studio has been a challenging and rewarding experience. I’ve learned many things not just about business but also areas of the industry I have never really had to think about. The past year has been a tumultuous year for the VFX service industry. Being on the business side and creating bids makes you realize just how much tax incentives are hurting the industry. Even when bids come out below tax incentive rates, productions still want incentives in order to get money back. Tax incentives are pretty much a race to the bottom for VFX studios.

But with all that said, it’s the business model that needs to change. The demand for computer graphics is only growing and expanding to many different markets, the industry just needs to learn how to expand into those markets.

But enough about the VFX industry and tax incentives; that’s not what this blog is about. What have I been up to for the past year?

Update: Sorry, I’ve had to make these videos private.

I’m working on a facial rigging system:


I updated my facial transfer toolset:

I created an attribute transfer tool:

I’m developing an asset and production management system:

I wrote a PSD system:

I’m developing a GPU-based rig evaluation system:

And I got engaged!

So until next time (hopefully not another year), adios!

Creating a Custom Jiggle Deformer

I have created another video series over at CGCircuit.com. This one is titled Creating a Custom Jiggle Deformer and goes over the creation of a custom jiggle deformer that you can use in your projects. Check it out here. And here is the intro video:

Last Week of Maya API Introductory Price

This is the last week of the 20% introductory price of my Introduction to the Maya API videos over on CGCircuit, so if you’re interested and want the discount, this is the last week to do so. On July 1, the price will go to the original $100.

This class introduces students to the Maya API. The Maya API allows programmers and scripters to customize Maya with innovative new technology and create tools to support a production pipeline. This class is the launching point to more advanced topics using the Maya API. While the Maya API is accessible in both C++ and Python, this class will focus mainly on C++ since C++ is the language that most plug-ins should be written in a production environment.

Creature Art and Mechanics

We’ve launched!

A group of artists and technologists that helped bring “Davy Jones” to life in “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and made everyone’s favorite childhood robots leap into action in “Transformers,” have launched a new studio based in Marin County, CA. The men, formerly Creature and Character Designers from ILM, Digital Domain, and Imagemovers Digital, have launched “Creature Art and Mechanics Digital” (CAM Digital or CAMd). The announcement was made today by the new company’s founding partners Scott C. Smith, Timothy Naylor, Andrea Maiolo and Chad Vernon.

Read the full press release here.

CGCircuit Open to the Public

CGCircuit.com is now open to the public. ┬áMy Maya API video series and Applied 3d Math series are now available for purchase without the need for an invitation. ┬áCheck them out if you haven’t already.


The site creators of CGCircuit.com are ready to let more people in and buy my videos! The videos are finally ready to be sold. However, you still need an invite to register on the site and buy the videos. I have a new set of invites to give away so use my contact form to send me your email if you want in and I’ll send you an invite. The Maya API class is still discounted at $80 until a month after the full public release.

Also those that I invite will have invites of their own to give away.

Maya API and Applied 3d Math Videos

My Maya API videos will soon be released. I’ve gotten word that they will be open to the public very shortly. The Maya API series is about 6 hours worth of video covering several topics from creating commands, contexts, locators, deformers, file translators, and dependency graph nodes to working with callbacks, multi-threading, attribute editor templates, and distributing your plug-ins.

I’ve also created an Applied 3d Math video series. This series is a little over an hour and covers how to actually use 3d math with practical examples. This isn’t your typical how-to-multiply-matrices math tutorial. I don’t even go over how to multiply matrices! The focus of this series is how you can apply 3d math in your day-to-day work.

Stay tuned for the actual release. It should just be a matter of days.

Reflection Locator

Here is another sample from my upcoming Maya API video series. In the video I discuss custom locators and go through how to implement them. The video series should be available around January 2012.

Draw Curve Context

This is a demo of a Maya context that I developed as part of my upcoming Maya API instructional video series. It draws curves from a mesh. It could be used to draw hair curves or something along those lines. The video series should be available around January 2012.

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