Jetfire Transformer - Old school version

This old school Transformer was a client job that fell through some time back. I was looking through old hardrives to find interesting models for a friend when I came across him and I couldn't resit firing up Silo and Cinema4D and giving him a whirl.

I would LOVE to get this guy 3Dprinted at some stage but I assume theres some copyright issue there. For now he's firmly a piece of fan art and that's how he'll stay :)


A ZBrush article from 2001

ZBrush is ten years old now. Unbelievable. I started to use it around 1999 and here are some scans from an article from 2001.


Two new tutorials at the Enter3D site.

I've added two new videos to Enter3D. Both of them by my good friend Rob Redman from PariahStudios. They finish of the 'Basics' videos with Lighting and Rendering a 3D character. Check them out and give Rob a buzz with some feedback.


Joining SparkleVFX*2 as Creative director

Sparkle Media Ltd is entering its 5th year as a motion graphics/post production agency. We’ve grown from strength to strength since opening in 2005. In the last few years our work has become heavily CGI based. This has lead to the formation of a venture in the form of a sister company to handle all the CGI and VFX based work allowing Sparkle Media to return to its media production roots.

Today see’s the soft launch of SparkleVFX, created to handle high end CGI & VFX for print, film & TV. The new company is the brainchild of Sparkle’s Managing Director Glenn Maguire.

“I wanted to create a new company that compliments Sparkle Media, taking the whole business in a new and exciting direction. We have new team members on board who promise to produce the best CGI in the north west of England!”

SparkleVFX would like to welcome its
New Creative Director and Head of CG Glen Southern to be part of the new team to head up SparkleVFX.
“Glen has a well established name in the CG industry not just in the UK but throughout the world, we feel especially proud having him head up the new company” Glenn Maguire Director SparkleVFX.

“It’s great to be part of something new like SparkleVFX but it is also reassuring to be joining a team of artists and designers with a proven track record. Sparkle are well known for providing quick turn rounds, quality work at competitive prices. I’m really looking forward to working with the team and hopefully adding more talented artists to the crew in coming months.” Glen Southern Creative Director SparkleVFX.

Glen (and SouthernGFX) is known for his character and creature creations and has credits from across the globe for print and film contributions. He is well known for his 3D training and working closely with a number of 3D software developers and his ability to motivate and manage large teams.

SparkleVFX will now handle all the CG work that originally came through Sparkle Media. This will include:
Character modeling (high and low polygon), product modeling, environment creation, bespoke motion graphics, CG animation, character animation, VFX shots for film & TV. All work will be available for print & motion use.

These are exciting times for Sparkle as a brand and we think this new launch will allow us to produce some of our biggest and boldest work to date.

Sparkle Media will also offer new services as it turns into a production company and media hub.
Services now offered include: Filming & Crew Hire (varying formats including RED), editing, grading, Audio Production/Mastering. In its new media section Sparkle Media will now also over print & web based consultancy for fully content managed site through static & flash sites, through to viral video and game production.

SparkleVFX is open for business as of tomorrow morning, with our major launch and handing over the websites on the 14th May. We’ll be showing off our new team at the FACT centre in Liverpool on the evening of 14th May as part of our on going commitment to CGI. The evening will be an “Entry to 3D”, all our welcome to come along and see live character modeling demos, take part and learn from Glen and the team.
On the night we’ll also be joined by Activision art directors giving advice on entering the games world, with some great giveaways including software license for the Nevercentre’s amazing modeling software Silo

The new company website is the site will be in holding position until the 14th May when we’ll reveal our new and exciting portfolio. All new enquiries can be sent to your existing contact or to


How to model Tado Choop!

My next video project at Enter3D is a cool series of videos that show you how to make a well known little character in 3D. I'm really lucky to have permission to model Tado's Choop in 3D.

If you have 2D character designs and you want to learn how to turn them into 3D models destined for animation or illustration then these videos are for you. And what better way to learn than to see an amazing design like Choop being turned into a 3D model

I've started a thread at to discuss this project.

A massive thanks of course to @wearetado Mike and Katie. (catch them on twitter if you get time!)


Enter3D Project 5-03 Basic head modeling tutorial 'Little Devil 2010'

Enter3D Project 5-03 Basic head modeling tutorial 'Little Devil 2010'

This is the latest addition to the Enter3D projects. I first did this tutorial about 4 years ago in Silo 1.4 . For some reason I've had lots of emails asking for it in recent weeks. As Silo 2.0 has changed in some significant ways I decided to re-hash the video and add it to Enter3D.

I'll be adding a few videos over the next few weeks so please feel free to follow the Blog for notification of new uploads. It's always great to get some feedback on a video so please take time to leave a comment below.


Getting confused with Foo the Fox

I've just had a weird thing happen. I've been working on some ideas for a couple of characters called 'Foo and Bah' (Foo, a small intelligent fox and Bah! his muscle bound bodyguard sheep. I'd been drawing the Fox character for a while and I was getting frustrated as I couldn't get a feel for his anatomy. I wanted to keep him basic and cartoony and as usual I was over-engineering his anatomy. I really do struggle keeping to basic shapes. Where some designers will put in a stick for an arm and it works perfectly I try to put in the full anatomically correct arm with bones, muscles, fat etc. I kept on drawing the Fox over and over and I seemed to keep coming back to the same basic shape and it just didn't feel right for me.

I was about to Google for some reference images and then thought I'd quickly model a fox with primitives in 3D and then spin it around to get the form or silhouette locked off. I opened my favorite modeling package and threw down some boxes and spheres in no particular order. I messed around with them for a few minutes and started to get a basic Fox shape together. Before I knew it I'd gone from primitives into detailed modeling, added a few colors that suited the Fox and started trying out different poses and facial expressions that I had struggled with in the pencil sketches. In no time at all I'd hit upon the right design and I was happy that the anatomy was right for this project.

It is quite liberating to do your concept work in 3D, trying out different shapes, making scale changes to limbs, trying different expressions etc. I used my 3D model as a drawing reference and sketched out five or six different turnarounds and I was pretty happy with every one. I chose one and inked it, scanned it in and did some quick Photoshop coloring.

All done I thought. I'd nailed the concept via a very unusual concept process. Now all there was to do was to use the reference image and make the 3D model....oh..wait...I already did that bit!. Doh! Very


Added his partner in crime tonight the evil henchman of the piece, 'Bah! the Sheep'. Be VERY careful tonight as Foo & Bah are after your Easter Eggs! Guard them with your life! If you haven't scoffed 'em all already. Happy Easter!


Help me out with screen shots.

If anyone wants to help out I'd be ever so grateful. I want to put a screen shot and some images of all major 3D packages and wondered if anyone felt like contributing. I'm updating my old Sub-D Primer as part of my new Enter3D area and I would like to show some examples.

I'm looking for:

1. An interesting screen shot of your 3D program of choice
2. A wire frame shot of one of your models
3. A render if poss.
4. A few words about why you like the package in question.

Zip them up and fire then over to

Bear in mind that the Enter 3D site is aimed at 2D artists coming to 3D for the first time. What would you show or say about your favorite 3D package?

And if you REALLY love your 3D package, do a little video and send it to Youtube and fire me the link. Now that would be cool!

So far I'm looking for:


and I'm open to offers to add the ones I've missed.

If you look at the Primer Page 2 you'll see where this is going.

Thanks already to Warner for some Modo images and Dave Bates (as ever) for sorting out the scripting for me.


Entering the Third Dimension (NOW OPEN)

Are you finding that your sketch books are overflowing with characters these days? Have you been wondering what some of those character would look like if they were a little more three dimensional? Well come on in and Enter the Third Dimension....


Whats this Enter3D stuff then?

I've been doing tutorials and 3D training videos for a long time now. I've been working with more and more 2D designers and especially 2D character designers. More and more people have been asking about how to get their concepts into 3D. This new area of my website is designed to help.

What will I find there?

Help and support for one thing. I want to help anyone new to modeling get a feel for how subdivision modeling works and how to learn the basics. The new area of the site is broken down into:

An Introduction
The Basics
Some Projects
A Subdivision modelers Primer

I will use this framework as a place to keep my future tutorial videos. If you have specific requests then please feel free to add comments in this blog post.

Is it finished

Nope. Not by a long way. I've been getting help and feedback from some amazing designers and I've been given some amazing character designs to use in future tutorials. The site is there as a resource for future modelers and a place to add new video content as I produce it.

Thanks have to go to Wes and the KURV guys who host all my stuff. The ever supportive Nevercenter Silo team for sponsorship and encouragement. For help with or for providing character designs and reference images James Yeah!, Moopf, Tado, Steve Cairney, Steve Talkowski, George Coghill, Lawrence Basso and many more to come. For constant advice and reality checks Wayne Robson, Dave Davidson. The multi-talented Glenn McGuire at Sparkle Media and Anthony Fillice my business guru and life coach. Oran Parker for design feedback. What would I do with out you all and the hundreds of others who I have the pleasure of interacting with on a daily basis. Thanks!

Follow me on twitter for updates.

Entering the Third Dimension

I've been working on a new area of my website for a few weeks now. It's a new tutorial area and I'm hoping to fill it up with training videos over the next few months. For about a year now I've been taking commissions for toy work, both commercial jobs and fun projects. I've spent a little time improving my vector skills and even done a few physical sculpts from ideas that I've really liked.

I decided to set up the new tutorial area in response to lots of emails I've had from 2D artists who want to make the leap into 3D, hence the title 'ENTERING THE THIRD DIMENSION.' Rather than focus on one specific program the videos are made using a range of applications that do a wide variety of things e.g. Silo for modeling, Headus UV for adding UV's, Cinema4D for rendering, ZBrush for sculpting and texturing etc.

I've asked a few fellow artist to let me use their images and characters as reference material so I should be able to show how to make a wide range of characters and creatures and show lots of different techniques along the way. I want to keep adding to the new area in coming months so I've made it expandable.

The tutorials are broken down as follows:

-Preparing a concept image
-Getting the reference image in the viewport background
-Subdivision basics
-Box modeling v point by point
-Using primitives to build shapes
-Modeling in parts and managing objects
-Using material sets to color your characters
-Creating UV co-ordinates
-Creating a texture using a UV map
-Lighting and rendering

Project videos:

1. Basic Penguin toy character using box modeling.
2. Point by point modeling a small character from vector reference.
3. Using primitives to form a character and scene (Artwork by Moopf).
4. Using text in your creations (Artwork supplied by Steve Cairney).
5. How to UV map a complex toy model using Headus UV
6. Sculpting a toy with ZBrush
7. Setting up a toy product shot in Cinema 4D.

I'm hoping to open the new website area by the end of the month and I'll blog and twitter when it's released.