Sometimes you see an image and a concept clicks into place in your big dumb head.



3d coat popup (a shitty personal note for a shitty personal blog)

Trying to make custom alpha stamps in 3d coat - not complicated at all :|  

Here's the layer stack - a big note: height map neutral gray must equal 127,127,127 in rgb.



https://www.highend3d.com/maya/script/scene-tools-for-maya - Well thought out - well integrated and free!  I hook it up to a dropbox folder and am building a character kitbash from there.




Had a freelance job to convert hundreds of cad drawings to sub-d friendly polygons - OH WHAT FUN.  Here are some conversion settings in maya that got me started.

Match render tessellation - Most basic - most renderers convert to triangles before rendering - so this just does that.

Here's some other dial and knob turning:

High count settings could be good for zbrush work.

Predictably this is the best to use for post cleanup with sub-d methods.

I've abbreviated and interpreted the settings.


A nice way to blend.


I need to make some room in my brain and I always confuse these.

Photochop tip

Once in a while I still have facepalm moments with Photoshop and other software.  I've found myself assuming things would be complicated (conditioned response?) but the easy way is sometimes right there.


Almost ready for rigging - Finishing the mouth bag and another texture pass on the costume then rigging time.  I want to try to present it with some idle animations.

10 Step swatch action


A simple photoshop action that takes the foreground and background colors and blends them in 10 steps.  It copies this strip to your clipboard so you can paste it in and sample it while you work.  I was using it to paint subtle color shifts in skin and it helped a lot with that.

Are you tuft enough?

Sorry my notes are ugly - graphic design slows me down and this coffee buzz will only last so long.  Further on hair - Strips to make Tufts to Bend around the head with lattice deformer.

These strips were made from GMH2 plugin but you can also make them in vector or render from 3d.

As you can see the first pass is thin and unrefined.  But the tufts are in place and can be duplicated and manipulated for thickness.

For this scalp since it's so covered up I rendered the tufts in toolbag and placed them around.  For other styles you'd want to be more careful and have a hairline etc.

After I get this done I'll show the finishing tips like vertex normal transfer.


This is the hair set up I've been working with in a nutshell - DX11shader and Viewport 2.0 for maya.  I can see what the hell I'm doing!  I aim for 10-20k tris for most hairs, not cheap but they end up looking pretty good and I'm still in budget for the characters.

-Use a .tga with an alpha channel and plug it into a dx11 shader.

This one is work in progress so it would get some more strips and strays and edgeflow refinement in the end.


Smart Masking DIY

There's probably a better way to do this but until Photoshop starts using python I'll have to use this workaround.

Made a separate file called "Manual_Masking.psd" that is essentially a gray-scale mask.  The other groups in the psd are to help painting and are hidden before the save action plays through.  You can make this look however you want so long as the groups are hidden before save.

All groups hidden - then the actions saves.

Previously the "Manual_Masking.psd" was embedded as a linked file (NOT a smart object!) into the diffuse,spec,and gloss.  When the action plays through it batch saves all of these and then re-opens the "Manual_Masking.psd"

Then Toolbag Auto updates nicely. It's a good way to manually paint wear and tear and can be used as a finishing move for your substances/ddos or go fully into hand painted PBR.


My usual process for starting vector designs - I do this a lot to begin embroidered stuff.


It's always great when you have a script idea and a simple search finds exactly what you are looking for.  Oriented bounding box for your lattice deformers - thank you!


Getting more into keyshot and using it as a base for concept painting.

^Substance to Keyshot material graph via this tutorial:


Looking for more scripts like this - this one seems useful for now I'll keep looking or try and make one.



I'm trying to make a perfect pop-up custom menu for Zbrushing - I've bound this to my wacom pen and an extra mouse button.  It's been great Speed gains! - Life will never be the same.

I don't really like Zbrush's color square or whatever it is.  So I always use the system pallete button. (Color>SysPallete).  This way I can quickly keep my channels consistent between Zbrush and photoshop.  Works well for making and editing MatID maps.  I've noticed the purer my channels the better results in Substance Painter and Ddo.

I stick to these colors which are "Pure 255-0" and 8 colors are usually plenty for MatIDs.


I started making batch files and launching programs that way instead of the usual shortcuts.  Now I can launch the software and open up any appropriate notes, "flashcards", websites, folders ...  Thinking there might be ways to hotswap Zbrush and Photoshop presets this way to launch them in different modes like hard surface mode... concept vs texturing mode etc. :o  Let's break the computer!


When organizing assets I purchase or download I make a habit of dragging the relevant hyperlink to the same folder.  Can't count the amount of times I've benefited from this habit.


I haven't perfected this process yet but I've been using zmodeler and Nano-Mesh with some success.  I make a part using zmodeler.  Then assign it as nano mesh on a single poly placed on my model (almost like a decal).

I can then go back and forth editing the original model while still on grid!