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MonkiTubes model and sculpt

Back in September I started working on a toy project with the intention of taking it from design to a finished resin cast. I also wanted to find a good solution to get good product renders of the toy designs. I'm really happy to be using Cinema4D now to get the sorts of shots I want but I thought it was time to move the whole project forward again.

My latest design is a re-hashed version of my Peg toy called the MonkiTubes. Very simple geometric shapes with clearly defined body parts including feet, upper and lower body, ears and a strong tail. I'm still very much in a design stage here but I'm getting closer to a shape that I like.





These tests all have strong personalities even though they have the same underlying shape and that is down to textures and graphics.I want to work on the shape a little more now as I would love to be able to cast these guys in a single mold. I had a rapid prototype done of my T-Rawll creature earlier this year but I think I will try and do this one with sculpey or wax.



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CGTweetup and the dreaded lurgy

We held our December CGTweetup on Thursday 3rd December in Circo at the Albert Dock. This time we had a joint event with the cool guys from Draw-the-line and we were blown away by the attendance which topped sixty people. I put up a small gallery of photographs of the event taken by my photographer friend Gary Woodward.


A big thanks to our sponsors Nevercenter and also to the guys a Ballisitic Media for providing prizes. We're looking into doing our next event in February sometime and of course there is always the regular Draw-the-line event in Django's Riff on the first Thursday of every month.

I've asked Mike at Draw-the-Line if I could design one of the event flyers. I spend so much time doing 3D and I love getting to do 2D stuff. I made a start (ignore the dates on this one):





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Learning character/organic modeling in Cinema 4D


This is my third week using Maxons Cinema 4d and I've been posting my thoughts and first images all over the place. I thought it was about time I brought all my comments together in one place. I've started a thread at CGT that covers all this off and I'll continue to post my findings as I get more familiar with the software and toolset.

First things first. I have not abandoned Silo3D in any way. In my eyes it is still the best value sub-division modeling package on the market. I explained why I was moving over to Cinema 4D in this blog post here. I have spent a long time working with Silo as my main modeling solution and it will take a very special piece of software to make me move on.

A large amount of my first few weeks with C4D has been spent configuring the layout and shortcuts to suit my needs as an organic character/creature modeler. I wasn't thinking about getting heavily involved with the modeling tools at first but as the days rolled on I started to like the toolset and more-so the configurable palettes and layouts. Add to that the power hidden in the scripting and the ability to add those scripts to buttons and the modeling experience becomes very attractive. I remember doing all this with Maya back in version 6.5 but I have found C4D much easier to learn and therefore I want to keep going.

Lots of tools work as you would expect. A character modeler
needs a different set of tools from hard surface modeler. For example I can't remember the last time I used a Boolean operation. The common tools that I use in most 3D modeling packages work as expected including things like extrude, move/scale/rotate/face/point/edge/face/object etc. All very familiar and quickly mapped to my own liking. There are a few quirks and oddities that frustrate me but most can be overcome with tweaks, scripts or plugins.

Symmetry. For a character modeler one essential feature is having the ability to model with symmetry on and all central point to be locked to Zero on X. This is a 'given' to successfully model creatures, characters and heads. In R11 I've only found a symmetry tag which gives me a partial answer but I had to resort to two plugins to get what I needed. Symmetry clamp and Cactus Dans CD Symmetry had what I needed.


Selection of Tri and NGons. Towards the end of a modeling project I like to clean up the mesh removing Ngons and Tris. I have a process where I model a section (an arm for example) then check it and remove what I can using tools like spin quad (an old Lightwave term and favorite of some) or by deleting edges and cutting new ones. Then onto the body, check it, remove what I can etc. If you get into a habit like this you end up with very few stray 3 and more-than-four sided polygons to deal with at the end of a session. I still live by the mantra that the only good mesh is 100% Quadrangles. It is so frustrating to be nearing the end of a mesh and find that you have a stray triangle sitting right on the botton of a foot. To remove it you have to split all the way up the leg giving unwanted edges and poygons. It's much better to keep checking for Ngons and Tris throughout the modeling process and eliminate them whenever possible. To do this quicky and efficiently I like to have the two buttons at hand and mapped to keys (Alt+T and Alt+N)

Select NGons was from Bobtronic here

Select Tri's suggested by VDP at CGT :)

var cnt = op->GetPolygonCount();
if(!cnt) return;

var i;
var poly;
var bs = new(BaseSelect);

for(i=0; iGetPolygon(i);
if(poly->c == poly->d)
bs->Select(i);
}

op->SetPolygonSelection(bs);


Knife. This is a powerful tool and one that I loved in Lightwave and missed in Silo. However, to make it a fast and efficient addition to the toolkit I recorded a couple of scripts with the knife tool with certain settings switched on for example:

1. A Cut button and keycommand (X) which gives me the point to point or edge to edge cutting.

2. The Loop cut button which gives me the full split loop function.

These are all there to be had in the Knife attributes but having them on buttons and keys speeds the modeling process up. You can of course just double click the button to call the tools attributes then adjust them to get the desired effect but, again, this slows down modeling. To keep the processing flowing and more artistic these tools need to be accessable and available at the click of a button. One thing that slows a new modeler down is remembering which menu a tool is located in.

Knife Tool in Loop Mode:
CallCommand(1016030); // Knife
tool()#MDATA_KNIFE_MODE=2;

Tweak. The definition of tweak (for me!) is the ability to move componant parts (point, edge and face) in 3D space without having to select them first. In C4D you have to enter Tweak Mode and leave Default mode. Then when you've finished the tweaking go back to default mode. I am mush more comfortable having Tweak assigned to a Key hold so that you can quickly enter and leave the mode with the press/hold of a key. An analogy I use is that if you were writing a book you would not want to repeatedly press CAPS LOCK on and off all the time when you could simply hold down Shift for a capital letter. To improve things slightly I recorded a script that enters Tweak mode and also enters move mode. It only saves a single keystoke but you do use tweak with Move for 90% of the time.


Brush increase and decrease. This is a must and was achieved with a simple script from here. I much prefer mouse-wheel-roll for this sort of stuff but that is not implemented in the latest release. I got it here

Smooth (Average vertices): This is a vital modeling feature for me and it took me a while to get familiar with it in C4D. My favorite way to do it is to have a selection with an area effect and fall off (example: Select a nose and the effect falls off onto the face). Once selected I like to call the smooth command using a mouse wheel roll to run it incrementally. This isn't available in C4D so I use a combination of things to achieve the same effect. I use Live select in edge or face mode. Select the area I wish to tighten then call Brush>Smooth from my palette and click the area. This tightens the mesh giving the smoothing effect in the selected area. The other way is to call and use the 'Iron' tool. This is pretty much a tighten/average verts command but it feel clumsy at first.

Using the HUD. The HUD allows you to add certain menu items to the viewports. I like to add relevant sliders (Soft selection radius being a well used example) to a viewport to keep things flowing. You can save the document as template.c4d and that retains these HUD items but I'm still undecided if that's the best way to do it. The jury is out on this one so far as I am finding new and better ways to do this every day.

Retopogise: This is a great little script (a few lines of code is all that's needed) from Thomas Paleka at CGTalk. This little retop feature gives me a powerful little tool that allows me to generate my new geometry onto an existing high poly mesh. This is the best way to make clothing that fits a character and change bad edge flows. It is essentially the create- polygon tool with added oomph!!!

Loop and ring select. These work well and are well used.

Extrude/Smooth Shift/Matrix extrude all work perfectly and have lots of settings. I keep them handy in my modeling palette and have them mapped.

I intend to keep adding to this blog post so please check back if you are new to C4D. Please add your comments/additions/amendments below if I've missed something or you know of a great tool for organic modelers in Cinema 4D.

I need to say a massive thanks to everyone at CGTalk and on Twitter that has supported me in learning Cinema4D in recent weeks. And a couple of special thanks to Rob Redman from Pariah Studios. His tutorials have been a godsend. And to Dave Davidson who has put up with me pestering him for years now. Follow these guys all on twitter! It's well worth it!

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Draw the Line time again!



"Draw the Line" is a growing creative Liverpool art social event aimed at the everyman and artist alike to unite under one roof and enjoy a casual scribble.

Check here for information on upcoming events, look at photos from previous sessions and spot your own artistic contributions. Stay tuned and get involved.

Next Events:

Thursday 5th November - Django's Riff - 8PM onwards

Remember Remember the 5th of November, as we'll be having a

little give-away bonanza of some Art software DVDs

generously provided by Glen Southern, don't miss out!

Thursday 13th November - The Masque - 10PM onwards

A new and exciting venue to add to the list of places most doodled,

cheers to "Eat your Greens" for the invite!





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Blogging from Loch Ness and another CGTweetup on the way in December

I'm taking a weekend away from working and spending it in a log cabin with the family on the shores of Loch Lochie in Scotland. Josh (5) has wanted to visit Loch Ness for some years now and is sure he can locate Nessie. His facts and evidence have been drawn together from Scooby Doo and the Blake Clan and from 'The Water Horse'. I'm actually quite convinced by him and who am I to squash his dream. We looked at the Google Earth shots that clearly show a monster swimming in the loch and after seeing that we booked the trip. He is beginning to understand natural selection and is very clued up on fossils and dinosaurs so he is looking for a Plesiosaur fossil whilst were here. He is also influenced by Pokemon so he keeps telling me there is a creature in every Loch in Scotland and that here on the shores of Loch Lochie I could find Latios and Latias.

Ok, back to reality I think. I had a great Thursday evening in the company of my good friend CGTweetups Ant Filice in the Baltic Fleet public house in Liverpool. We had organised a meeting to plan the next CGTweetup and we had arranged to meet in Circo in the Albert Dock. After receiving a text telling me Circo were holding a fashion show it was either a night in drag or a trip across the way to the Baltic Fleet. I look shit in heels so the Baltic won. We got together with the guys from Draw-the-line, Glenn from Sparkle Media and my new ZBrush-wielding buddy Abe.

The outcome of the meeting is that we are planning to hold a combined CGTweetup and Drawing event in Liverpool on the 4th of December! Thats right, a room full of 2D and 3D artists all getting drunk and chatting and drawing and did I mention getting drunk! What better time to meet like minded people and make some new freinds and discuss what you're working on and what you want to work on. Details will be coming soon via twitter and CGArtist daily

And whilst you're waiting why not join the next Draw-the-line event:

"Draw the Line" is a growing creative Liverpool art social event aimed at the everyman and artist alike to unite under one roof and enjoy a casual scribble.

Check here for information on upcoming events, look at photos from previous sessions and spot your own artistic contributions. Stay tuned and get involved.

Next Events:

Thursday 5th November - Django's Riff - 8PM onwards

Remember, Remember the 5th of November,

Drawings and Doodles; the lot!

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Moving on to Cinema 4D and why.

Over the past decade I've tried out most of the highend 3D packages on the market. In this last week I've decided to adopt Maxons Cinema4D currently in version 11.5. I wanted to post a bit of an explanation as to why I decided to use C4D and the thought processes that got me here.
I cut my 3D teeth in the early 90's on 3DSdos on a 486 pc. I had been dabbling with an Amiga 1200 for years but never managed to create anything worthwhile. I liked the forerunner to max but I didn't really know any different. I learned all about NURBS with the amazing Rhino but quickly decided hard surface modeling wasn't for me. In 1999 I began to learn Lightwave and got very interested in a new program called ZBrush. Lightwave was a powerful subdivision modeling package but was missing some crucial tools at the time. Around the same time I was trying Caligari Truespace and an early version of Poser neither of which inspired me and I quickly stopped using them. ZBrush rocketed into the limelight with version 1.23b and grabbed the interest of the gaming world whilst Lightwave ambled into the new millennium with minimal changes and still missing things like ngons and a decent mirror function.
I really needed to find a solution to get my ZBrush sculpts into a rendering package and utilize displacement and normal maps. I've always thought of myself as an Illustrator who uses 3D, I don't animate and never want to. Having the ability to render your own characters and creatures is crucial and I just wasn't getting it.
I tried XSI, 3DSmax, Maya, Cinema4d and Modo but these were all big packages that can do much more than just model. I looked at the dedicated modeling packages at the time and tried Hexagon, Clay, Wings and Silo3d. For me, Silo won hands down and I've been modeling exclusively with it for over 5 years now. SO much so that I neglected to keep looking for the best render solution and focused just on my modeling skills.
So for the past few years any job I took worked like this: core polygon modeling all done in Silo. UV mapping in Headus UV. High polygon sculpting in ZBrush. Retopologizing done in Topogun or Silo. Texturing and map creation in ZBrush and Photoshop. Lighting, shaders and final renders.......errrrrr....And therein lies my issue!

Where to go from here. For some reason I've struggled to become proficient in any of the major rendering packages. I've been plugging away at Maya for years but find it hard to get good results at a speed that matches my modelling. Having spent a year working on improving my design skills including illustrator, toy design, pencil and ink work and marker work, I now need to firmly establish myself as a 3D illustrator by adding rendering to my skill set.
Hence a return to Cinema 4D, a package I had tried early in the decade and turned away from. Most of the people I've met this year in the toy design world are using C4D. Not exclusively but it was a high enough number to make me download the demo and take another look under the hood and Wow! was I impressed. It's easy to use. It's clearly laid out and it isn't hard to work out what everything does. It will take a lot to get me to stop using Silo as my core polygon modeling solution but this is the closest I've come. I was waiting for Blender 2.5 and I was hoping to adopt that package but having had a week with C4d my fate is sealed!.


As ever, theres people that help you along the way in life. For this little part of my journey I need to thank Dave Davidson, C4D guru. Glenn from Sparkle Media and my inspirational buddy Ant Filice. Pay it forward folks. You get more back in the end!




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SouthernGFX is down but not out

I've been having major issues this week with SouthernGFX. It turns out that my host had an over capacity issue which has never happened in all the years he's kindly hosted for me. Apparently it's all fixed now at their end but I seem to be missing pretty much everything. No site, FTP access, linked images etc. All down at my end. I'm being told that by friends around the world that they can access the site but that it now has errors. Very weird! All my linked images at the forums I post on are currently missing which is frustrating for anyone reading any of my posts.

On a brighter not the character work for Sparkle Media on Spring Heeled Jack is going well. As I've said on my forum it is nice to be working on a projects that I can share as it progresses. I've been posting everything at Twitsketch but luckily I've mirrored it all in my Flickr account which isn't affected buy my server problems.





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Draw the Line at Django's Riff in Liverpool


Anthony from CGArtist Daily and myself goodself took an evening off our busy schedules and made our way into the heart of Bohemian Liverpool on Thursday evening. We joined in with a Draw the Line event at Django's Riff right in the center of town. If you like relaxing with a group of artists from a wide range or backgrounds and skill levels it's worth a visit. It's held on the first Thursday of every month. I was surprised how friendly the atmosphere was and how comfortable if felt sitting in the middle of a club scribbling my doodles on a table top whilst having few scoops. Looking back my only issues is that I didn't take more photos of the end results. Video cam next time!. A big hand clap for Mike Snowden (www.themicrocosm.co.uk) the organiser of the evening.






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Dinosaurs rampaging around a German TV show

Dinos invading a German TV show. I love it!.



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Spring Heeled Jack - Concepts

These shots are some concepts for Glenn at Sparkle.tv for a character called `Spring Heeled Jack. Very early days in concept terms and to be honest this is the result of my very first sketching session





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Needed some 'BugEyed Alien Reference' so I ZBrushed a Sphere for half an hour. See the full forum thread here



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My naughty Toys help launch theTwitsketch forums

I've just posted my 1000 Twitter message in 6 months! Not sure if that's good, bad or completely irrelevant. It took me 5 years to post a 1000 messages at ZBrush Central so I must have been waffling a lot this year.

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Twitsketch Forum is live and getting a color update.


My new Twitsketch forum is fully live now and I've just finished another round of style tweaking. I want to start encouraging doodlers, sketchers, twitter-fiends, modelers and general art types over there. I've upgraded the forum to a Premium account from Free and got the ability to edit the style. I've matched the colors to this blog and SGFX although I chose to keep the background very light. If you can help out and spread the word please do. The main idea behind the site is a place for doodlers to find a topic and post their work. I've added a speed modeling section for 3D modelers like myself) and I'll be starting some speed sessions later this week.

I should be able to start up the Silo Forum weekly sessions again soon so if you've missed them over the summer get your polygons ready for round two in October!

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Josh designs and builds his Warmachine suit











The SouthernR&D team have been working day and night on a secret project, a project the lead designer can now share with the world. Josh wanted me to interview him so he could tell everyone about his new battle suit that he calls 'WarMachine'. He has picked up lots of my habits during his 5 years and one that really makes me laugh is his addiction to making things with Duct tape! Whoeverinvented Duct tape needs some form of medal or award.

Anyway, take a listen to my little designer explaining all about his battle armour.


Listen!

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Twitsketch gets its own forum

This week I’ve been working on improving the look and feel of my website. I have felt for sometime that it needed a once over and now is the time. I've redone the basic page structure starting with the info page and now I'm working on the new gallery pages. I need to get some help as I need to re-hash this blog to match the new graphics

This week saw the launch of my new Twitsketch forum. Twitsketch started as my doodle website where artists can get a daily topic to inspire their doodling. If you like to doodle and want to join us then hop over to the forum. I've been meaning to start a Twitsketch forum since the spring of 2009. I started using Twitter at the start of the year and very soon after that I started to post daily sketch topics called Twitsketches (crap name but it fits the purpose). After a few weeks and a seeing a few great little sketches being posted I decided to register the twitsketch domain (just in case) and parked a single webpage on there to explain what Twitsketch was all about. The next stage for me was to get hold of a forum. It took 6 months for me to get round to it.

I didn't set out to start up a new forum, of course, like most projects it just evolved. I sketch every day and I often run out of ideas. I normally turn to my inspirations folder on my hard drive (something I'm sure we've all got) or I go and wander around Google images for half an hour. I love visiting www.conceptart.org and taking part in `Creature of the week` or the `Daily sketch group` and if you need sketching topics there is no place better.



I wanted Twitsketch to be less involved. For example. I'm in a meeting and bored (regularly).



1. I check out twitter on my Iphone and search for #Twitsketch.

2. See the daily topic.

3. Scribble my interpretation down on paper or even on the Iphone.

4.Snap a picture or screen shot and fire in onto the web with twitfire or twitpic and tag it #twitsketch



Now with the forum I can see all the Twitsketches in one place and see how other artists have interpreted the subject matter.

So, that's a quick overview of why it's here.

Sign up and join the fun!

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Switching to Mac and Snow Leopard from PC and Vista.


So after many years of debating it I finally decided to give an Apple Mac a try as my main Laptop solution. I very nearly upgraded to another Toshiba as I've had such great service and reliability out of my Tecra M7 Tablet but after a few conversations with fellow artists I made my mind up and took a trip over to Apple at Liverpool 1. I suppose it is a lie to say I was a complete Apple newbie. My life is littered with Apple products and as an early adopter I've been buying Ipods on a regular basic since the first version for the PC back in 2001. I bought an Imac some years ago (A 21" G5 powerpc version) and I have to say it put me off using Macs for a few years. I didn't like the Tiger OS and I found it much slower than my current PC's when using Photoshop and ZBrush. I ended up using it as DVD player which really is a bit old waste of £1500! AS 90% of my computer time is using graphic applications I have always felt like I should be a a mac fan but for some reason I just wasn't getting it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a PC/Windows Fan either. I'm not even an OS fan really. I find that I spend too much time messing with skins, themes, settings, backgrounds, icons etc. Windows has always been painful in one way or other and for years I was plagued with viruses. Windows 95 was always OK for me. ME was a waste of time. Windows 2000NT restored my faith a little and I don't think XP and Vista have brought anything new to the party in recent years. Security has never been an issue to me in terms of people seeing/using my data but as mentioned viruses have cost me money and time almost every year. In the past three years I've managed to find a way to work around this and that is by having lots of external hard-drives and keeping everything I own on them. I use MaCafee virus software and I upgrade my Windows OS or just re-install every 6 months or so. I had an awful time with XP 64 and and even worse time with Vista 64. I hasten to add these are all legal upgrades so I've spent a lot of money with Microsoft over the years with my latest purchase being Windows Vista Ultimate (64 and 32 versions).

So all that said I finally took the pluge and headed off to Apple. I had already decided on a MacBook Pro. I bought my Son, Jack, a white Macbook and I didn't like the look of that so it had to be the aesthetically pleasing aluminum 15" MBP. The native screen resolution is 1440x900 which matches my Toshiba and is about right for my eyes and needs. The look and feel of the laptop is awesome. It is sexy for want of a better term. The sleek aluminum body is clean and high tech and unlike Windows machines sticker free!. I am not a gamer (clearly, or Mac would be a no no!) but graphics performance matters to me. I went for the twin graphics card option which along with Snow Leopard I am hoping I have all the power and graphic umppphff I need. I'm happy so far and all my art apps are playing ball. I've read a few reviews that seem to suggest I've come to the Apple party late and there is no real advantage for an artist to use Macs these days.

So far so good. I upgraded to Snow Leopard on arriving home as it came with the MBP but was not installed. I do use my Toshiba for business so the MBP needed to meet all them same needs and the first issue I came across was the lack of Outlook on a Mac. Bummer!. I have to say of all the programs that Microsoft turn out I love Outlook best of all. I use Mobile Me and like all that connectivity between my Iphone, Mac and Web calenders but Entourage is not Outlook. In fact, it's crap. I would prefer to use ICal, Contacts and a bloody cheesy Note apps rather than Entourage. I find mail is slow to download load and the Rules process is tosh. My solution is a temporary one as I read that Outlook Mac is on the way next year. I decided to use BootCamp and desecrate my MBP by putting Windows Vista on it! I printed the Bootcamp instructions and ignoring the reviews by people who have screwed up their machines with Bootcamp I went ahead and made mine a Dual Boot Macbook Pro. It worked. Like a dream actually.

Now, Apple purists will think I'm cracked for making it a dual boot. For me it means I keep the functionality of my old machine and get the benefits of OSX and some of the cool mac software. Silo doesn't work 100% under Snow Leopard. There are color issues making it hard to use the materials functions. Modeling seems fine though.


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Ren and Stimpy unmade episode in storybord form

I was looking up some information about an old Loony Tunes cartoon character called Bosko X when I stumbled on an unmade episode of Ren and Stimpy. As I'm a massive fan of the show I thought I'd embed the clip right here. Shame it was never made.






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The Frunkies


The Frunkies
Originally uploaded by SouthernGFX
I seem to have been in lots of situations this week where only my ears were needed; freeing up my hands to litter the pages of my latest Moleskine sketchbook. I started doodling some little creatures and they evolved into these two little tailed beasties called the Frunkies (Frog Monkies!)

I want to do a few scenes this week with this pair and some of their animal friends getting into difficult and awkward situations.


GridIron goes to ER

When GridIrons cogs stopped working one day the other toys sprang into action. Ted and Crabby checked the wiring while Muggy opened his airway. Mo-hog grabbed his chainsaw and asked the Macak twins to hold his legs.
Zipsack took an X-ray of GridIrons body cavity and that showed Ted which wires to yank. Menguin the Mole grabbed a huge spanner from Mo-hogs toolbox and took off an arm. It didn't help GridIron but it made Physeta and Twingle the Alien laugh.

After an intensive but funpacked three hours they managed to get the cogs moving again and GridIron sat up on the table, good as new.

Or so it seemed! He looked down and where his arm should be he saw a leg, and where his leg should be he saw his clasping claw hand!

He jumped off the ER table and chased the naughty Physeta and Twingle around room waving his leg in the air!

images on Flickr

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Walking with Dinosaurs LIVE tour and Flickr Pro

Well I'm beginning to regret lashing out on a Mobile me subscription because it looks like I'm never going to use it. I love how FlickR works and I've started to use that for sharing all my photos and some images. I'll still be posting my artwork to my own galleries at Southerngfx but mirroring the ones I like on FlickR. I like having an online gallery for family stuff too and it seems great for that with the Set management being my favorite option.

I've just been to see Walking with Dinosaurs LIVE at the Echo Area in Liverpool and I'm still in shock. It is outstanding. To bring to life a full collection of Dinosaurs at that scale is just amazing. Go and see it now!




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Flickr

This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Off on my jollies......wish you were here



Okelydokely! I'm on a 1 day countdown to my holiday cruising around the Mediteranean with family and friends. We're driving down to Southhampton in the Thundertank in the morning and boarding the Independance of the Seas in the afternoon.

I'll be carrying the usually art supplies throughout the trip including my HD camera for vids and stills. I'll have a couple of different moleskines for daily sketching, a grid moleskine and a couple of blank page large ones. If I have good wifi on the ship I'm going to try and upload any sketching I do on a nightly basis to this blog.

On with the packing.....

Ports of Call: Southampton, Gibraltar; Cannes, Florence, Rome, Cagliari, Seville, Vigo, and back to Southhampton

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First CGTweetup in Circo in Liverpool last night.

Last night was the first CGTweetup held in Circo
in the Albert Dock in Liverpool. I had a great evening and met some awesome talent including the Lee Carter (2000AD fame) and the amazing Raul Ovejero
There were plenty of 3D/2D new comers and plenty of up-coming talent. I'd like to feel that no one was left out. One of the highlights for me was Lee talking through some of his concept and comic work and explaining a little bit about his work flow. Thanks to the guys who sent in introduction videos which provided a little light entertainment at the start of the evening. If you couldn't make it or were a bit unsure if the venue was right for you then let me re-assure you that everyone was made welcome and I'm sure as the event grows that will be an on going theme, making people welcome!. I saw some great portfolios and some amazing websites on screen at the end of the night.

Ideas for the next event include having a drawing wall set up to get some of the 2D/concept and comic talent going art-crazy actually at the event. How cool would it be to win that piece of wall at the end of the night! We raffled off a Ballistic publishing book, `Character Painting 2` at the end of the evening and hopefully next time we can get a few more sponsors signing up. All in all a great night!

If you think it sounds interesting follow Anthony Filice on twitter or sign up at CGArtistDaily.

Some photos to follow soon I hope!

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T-Rawll 3D Print arrives from 3DCreation Labs

I've been sitting on my doorstep waiting for this little parcel to arrive. The amazing postman left it on his van and only brought it at 1.30pm. Typical! If it was a bill it would have been here a 7.30am!

Anyway, he's here, my very first 3D print from a 3D model and here's a few images of the little fella. I've finally got my head around Adobe Illustrator this week and I've cranked out a few more ideas for boxes and insert cards as you can see below. I've mocked up a `Flesh T-Rrawll` and I'm working on colorways for a Peak T-Rrawll, Magma Trawll, Evergreen T-Rrawll, Nautical T-Rrawll and the Nimbus T-Rrawll





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Monsters can Dance


I have had loads of great feedback about my recent Breakdancing Mummy #twitsketch and custom sculpt. So much so that after posting at the Kidrobot Forums I decided to go ahead and do more `dancing Monster` concepts in the hope that a new idea for a sculpt would crop up. Below are the results so far.

Please comment below this post and add your thoughts about which other monsters should join the elite `Monster Fame academy` and be immortalized in ink. Maybe a Riverdancing Beast from 40,000 fathoms? Or a Headbanging Predator.?












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T-Rawll heads off to the 3D Printers


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T-Rawll Toy nearing completion

I'm almost ready to send my little T-rawll model over to 3DCreation lab to get a 3D print. I'm getting happier with the model and I've made a few changes this weekend. The arms have been remade and after looking at the Yowie I have made it so I only need one arm that can be used on both sides of the model. I'm not too sure if the joint socket will work properly after it's been printed but I suppose I can either sand the peg down or build the hole up.

Here's a few shots of the model as it stands now:



I also mocked up a couple more sculpey T-rawlls






I also managed to knock up a couple of box designs.


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