Post-Halloween post 2014

Yesterday I was in a bit of a Halloween mood, listening to the Nightmare Before Christmas Revisited album and thought to myself: Why not do a some Halloween art? So I spent the evening and this morning trying to get this little pumpkin character right. It’s not rigged and I don’t plan to do so, but I think it turned out rather cool, so I rendered a 1080p wallpaper for you guys. Feel free to download and use it, as long as you give me some credit.

Pumpkin wallpaper download (JPEG, 324kB)

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So metal: Moshpit simulations made with Javascript

A friend just send me this really cool javascript experiment by Matt Bierbaum, which tries to simulate the greatness of a real heavy metal mosh- or circlepit. Awesome, I know. Personally, I like circlepits a lot more, because being in a moshpit can be really exhausting, really fast. Now all we need is an awesome wall of death simulator, am I right?

By the way: It’s a lot more fun to watch the simulation with some Amon Amarth playing in the background.

Sneak Peek: LEGO Snowspeeder turntable render

Nope. I’m not dead. But I’m seriously busy right now. My buddy Pascal and I are doing a special still image rendering of the Battle of Hoth from Empire Strikes Back – LEGO style! Yesterday we were playing around with shading / lighting and this particular setup worked pretty well so I rendered a quick turntable video for you to enjoy. You should be able to enjoy the final rendering by the end of the month. Cheers.

Video: Edgar Wright – How to Do Visual Comedy

Yup, I’m still alive. Just busy. Really busy. Anyway, a couple of days ago I stumbled upon this awesome video essay by Tony Zhou. Tony talks about modern comedy in Hollywood and compares them to the work of the amazing director Edgar Wright.

This genius from the United Kingdom is incredibly talented and does some of the best comedy movies out there. The Cornetto trilogy and especially Scott Pilgrim vs. the World are among my favorite movies of all time. Just have a look at the video and learn how Edgar manages to outperform all the American competition.


Lee Unkrich shows off Toy Story 3 render glitches

Lee Unkrich, best known as director of the amazing Toy Story 3 from Pixar Animation Studios, just posted a couple of interesting photos on his Twitter account @leeunkrich. They show off some serious and strange render glitches, he and his team had to face during the creation of the final Toy Story movie. Kind of reassuring – this kind of stuff happens even to the best in the industry.

Awesomely dark animation short ‘Carn’

I’ve seen this one a few weeks ago, back at FMX 2014, and it came back to my mind this morning. A pretty serious, stunning and dark animation short, written and directed by Jeff Le Bars. I really liked the art style in this one and the ending was just perfect. Something different from the ordinary funny 3D shorts you see popping up everywhere these days.

Gorgeous New Zealand 4K timelapse series

Martin Heck from Timestorm Films created an incredible timelapse video series in 4K resolution set in the country of New Zealand, a.k.a. Middle-earth. The country is probably the most beautiful on planet earth and Martins first two videos will relax and amaze you. There are two more to come, which I’ll add to this post, once they hit the web.

Maya: Import LEGO builds from Lego Digital Designer

I’m currently looking into the process of rendering a digital LEGO set inside of Maya. It’s hard to create a precise LEGO build inside of Autodesk Maya, but there is some piece of software out there, which simplifies the process a lot. The Lego Digital Designer (LDD), an official digital LEGO building app, it the perfect tool to construct digital sets in no time. Unfortunately it’s not able to save your builds to a Maya oder 3ds Max compatible format. After a lot of research I finally managed to import my LDD models into Maya, using a freeware called LeoCAD. Here is how it’s done!


Step #1: The first step is to create your build inside the Lego Digital Designer application, which is available for both Windows and OS X for free. After installing the app, build something awesome and navigate to the “File” menu, where you will find the option “Export model”. Choose it and export your build as LDraw-file (*.ldr) to the desired location. You can now leave the application.


Step #2: The next step is to open your saved LDraw file with the open-source tool LeoCAD (Windows, OS X, Linux). Check if everything is awesome (yep, LEGO movie reference here) and choose “File” ➔ “Export” ➔ “Wavefront”, to save your build as a 3D software compatible *.obj file. You’re basically done, if you know how to import these files into your 3D software. Have a look at the next step, if you are a Maya user and don’t know how to do it.


Step #3: Open a scene in Autodesk Maya and choose “File” ➔ “Import …” and select your *.obj file. The LEGO build should now be displayed correctly inside your scene. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to transfer the LDD textures along with the model, so you will have to recreate them inside Maya. Have fun!

If you have problems recreating my workflow, feel free to contact me or leave me a comment below.