zondag 30 december 2012


I forgot I was initially planning on making some kind of winter hat for Kathy.
So I made one..

Tomorrow I will hopefully make some more progress.

See yaaa.

zaterdag 29 december 2012


Every hero needs a sidekick so coherent to the story I made the first step into creating that character.
It is a she, her name is Kathy.
It went really well this day for a change.
I am going through the same process like before alone this time I know how to get Sh!t done!
So that's a first.

With no further a do here is the head I made.
I modeled the head plain in cinema, no zbrushing or whatever kind of sculpting this time, displacements are not good for my heads.
But than again I uv'd the hair in zbrush, works fast and nice.
Than I textured it in bodypaint.
So I've been busy for one day and I am happy with this so far.
There will be tweaks and whatnot but yeah, I love it.
The hair is always tricky but you've got to stick to it, be patient and experiment.
Tomorrow I will start with her outfit.
Till then...

maandag 24 december 2012

walk cycle 2

New walk cycle improvements, blinking, other facial expression and leather texture improvement.
After X-mass I will make some more facial animations and combine them in the walk, this is all for now.


zaterdag 22 december 2012

walk cycle

Sooo, that has been a while, always busy but not always something cool comes from it.
But last week I made the walkcycle for my character, I checked some tutorials and the result is really ok for me.
I am still struggling with the rig, I am not a rigger but whatever, I'll see how far this boy brings me.
Still some work to be done, but a great start up point I think.
Right arm is a bit wonky and the feet are a bit to linear on lift.


I animated an Xref so the original model can be modified and reused.
Very convenient.

I've copied some render settings from the Vray forum to work with animations and that worked out really great!
No flickering whatsoever.
It took to long to render but hey, I want my sh!t to look awesome:D

There was another problem, I wanted to use a noise in my specular channel but somehow the model deforms the noise and it looked f@cked up.
I did remove it and it still looks ok, but I wanted to have some wear and tear on the leather material of the character.
Well something to look at another time.

I think it is now time to get that face working.
Some facial expressions and jaw dropping perhaps.
Have a great X-mass and a happy new year.


zaterdag 8 december 2012


So it has been a while, a had a little vacation time with the girlfriend so not much time was available for my project right here.
But now I have a day or 2 to make some progress.

Yesterday I was busy doing the trees for my little village, I have a nice collection of high end 3d trees and use them on the snow surface to get that in the forest look I want so bad, but now I can go close and personal with those high end trees.
What I first did was making trees out of cards with alpha, rotated them 3 times to use as 1 tree.
Well that got me quite far but in vray that alpha is a render hog.
And when I got to close it was ugly, soooo.

I rendered a short sequence out and the rendertimes were relatively ok, about 7 min for a 1280 frame.
I let that run and looked at the vray forum for a nice workflow for camera animations.
It works quite good so I am really glad this works.
But now I have some small flickering lights and its not a GI problem but pixelsize is what gets this going.
I am not sure how to fix that but I will ask around in the fora or so.

Here is a still of the village.
I ran it through nuke to look like this.

And now on to the next one!

Oh and another one from downtown 4 bells village!
Quick and dirty but yeah, got the vibe right there.

zondag 18 november 2012

The Village

This weekend I went over to turning my village into a vray village.
It was all nice and setup plain c4d style but to get a better quality image I decided to do it in Vray.
Soooo, that was a crapload of work.
But hey, now I have all things I need setup in Vray ready to be finetuned and used.

Soooo, there is still some work to do, but I think I wait with that until I am ready to animate the bunch.
Than I will finetune and add all the extra textures, creases, cracks and whatnot to make it even more awesome.
But to give you a glimpse of what it eventually will look like I made a render and did some additional fast comping in After fx just for the hell of it.


zondag 11 november 2012


Tuning the crap!!!

Lots of time exhausting work!!!
But the devil is in the details, carry on!


woensdag 7 november 2012

looking good

Finally I have a look I am content with.

Rendered in Vray and I made a simple fast composit in nuke.
Now I must fine tune the rig and make some minor adjustments to the textures.
Also making sure the hair dynamics work and make some facial expressions.
Still a bucket list to go but this look gives me enough satisfaction to keep on going:D


zondag 4 november 2012

Riggggggg'n stuff

This weekend I have build the rig and added some ok weight painting.
I am still not completely aware of what what is in this
part if the process of creating a character.
But I think I am getting there.
I am happy with the look so forward from here.
I will have to make adjustements to the rig without a doubt
but I am feeling progress and thats good to have.

Also have I decided to render it in vray.
Time/limited controll/texture workflow and than some.

Love the materials in Vray now lets hope to make it work.
I am figuring out how to get zbrush displacement maps into
Vray for c4d, this is again something I have to get into..

I am sometimes a bit anoyed to reinvent the wheel all the time.
It is time consuming crap that will eventually through
time and technology be reduced to redundant.
But yeah keeping the faith here.

No render today, I am still figuring that displacement crap out, so hold tight.
More to come...


zondag 28 oktober 2012


Sooooo, I've been busy doing some work on the side for some cold hard cash!!
Also I've been doing some tracking for another fun project.
Some tests involving head replacing etc..
I'll post some on the blog if I am content with it.
It is a work in progress so that will take a while.

Now back to the project.
I've wrapped up my model, I am quit happy with it and probably I will never be 100% content I decided to move to the next step.

It took me a long time to get a workflow and now I have one I guess.
Sooo that is a lesson well learned.
Now it is back to the rigging/weighting and hopefully it will end in a great rig!

But now the dilemma, RENDERING!!!
I am orienting and looking at different render engines and I have to make a decision to chose 1!!!
It is really hard cuz every one has its benefits and cons.

-Vray is a nice renderer but it has a steep learning curve, I get some of it but still not everything.
It also has some strange workflows and crashes quit a lot.

-Maxwell render, superior image quality and easy to set up the lighting but rendering is a real pain in the...
I've rendered out a quick test for my character and a good clean render will take about 40 minutes per frame....
This is not the final character but almost.
I find the maxwell materials a bit anoying apposed to vray, vrays textures can work together with the c4d material workflow and that is a big advantage.

The reason why I have to make a choice is materials, I have to texture everything in vray or maxwell materials and that is key!


zondag 14 oktober 2012

workflow aaaaah

This weekend I spend most of the time on getting a decent workflow, so that was awesome..NOT!!!
Fucked up Friday so I was agitated like hell!!!
Yesterday I finished the head and started to get all my parts together.
I used Zbrush for a bit cuz the sculpting in C4D is still kinda slow with high resolution meshes.
So I had to figure out some stuff how to get it to work correctly.

 I wanted to use posemorphs to create some kind of facial animation and with the low resolution model it wouldn't work.
So since the head is apart from the rest I crancked the resolution up for an extra subdivision.
And now I can paint in the deformations for the facial postures.
That will come another day..

So after exporting my base mesh into Zbrush I added the higher detail and got it back as a displacement map and textured those in bodypaint.
 I used a lot of my previously made textures to get the look I had but enhanced some details to make it a bit better.

Now I have to figure out how to replace the rigged model with these new parts, pfffffff, well, lots of bumps in the road but I will kill it eventually.


zondag 7 oktober 2012


Having almost no time this weekend, yet squeezed some moments in to fine tune the head I made last week.
I redid the hair, made some tweaks to all the models, sculpted some more, laid out the uv's for the head and body painted some details onto the face.
Yeah, that is about it.
I am about to say yeah this is it but not quit yet, so I will still keep messing with it until it is picture perfect.

To do list for now:
-Skin, make it more real, some minor details in the skin, enhance eyebrows.
-Beanie, the look, more fabric like and some kind of subsurface scattering.
-Inner mouth, add detail.

zondag 30 september 2012


Soooo busy doing the head, I made a new head and spend a lot of time creating it and making it look like the original one.
So that being done I enhanced the model and made some eyelids, these are part of the mesh and will eventually be rigged.
When that was done I took some time to look at subsurface scattering and tried to find a look to match his skin.
That worked out really well so I am stoked with that.
And at last but not the least I was thinking about the hair, I first made it as a whole in 1 mesh but
since I am upgrading it all I found a way to use the hair module and get away with a good look.
It is not final but I am almost getting the look I wanted.

I call it quits for the weekend, I have made some nice progress and I am happy with where it is going.
More to come soon!!!

zaterdag 29 september 2012

The weighting game

I've took some serious time to fix my base figure with some nice topology.
And after that I used the autorigger in c4d to build that puppet some bones.
It is a handy tool and I will dive into it more cuz I need to setup some preferences of my own here.
I decided to cut my character up into a head, the jacket, the mittens, jeans and boots.
This way I have more flexibility over the painting etc I guess, well I will find out if this is the way to go, but I think it is..

And after this was all setup except the painting the weighting of the character was next.
I don't know what it is with weighting but it takes some serious time, most of the time the examples are thin but my character has a thick jacket so that will not cut it for this.
After spending a whole day or so on weighting it is almost where I want it to be.
It works quite nice so the works has paid off.

The head is something that I wanna rebuild to make it all tidy.

I will post some progress tomorrow to keep the juices flowing.


zondag 23 september 2012


Weekend, well yeah but still struggling to make time for my project.
Our new dog is claiming much time and she is a bit sick so poor poor doggy.

Back to the project.
I am getting the hang of uv layout slowly but surely.
It is quite elaborate so it takes some time to get used to.
But I get the idea and find my way through the interface quite well.

I am rebuilding the main character and taking care the edge loops and topology are ace.
That will take some time and comments from friends before I take that to the next level.

So I was playing with the new sculpting tools in C4d, they are very awesome and just what I need to
carve in the fine detail after the modeling.
But still I have some problems when I tested it from C4d to uvlayout, got some nice uv's and
started sculpting from there.
It was especially at the edges where the mesh got a bit to deformed.
So that will take some research to solve.

Still loving them sculpting options, it is not super slick if you have a high polycount but hey,
it aint zbrush, but 3 yeahs for the ease of use.
Exactly what I need for this project.

I will post some detailed imagery if I solved the problem of the edges.

Till then, be afraid..
There are monsters under the bed.......

donderdag 20 september 2012

Uv man!

Well I am getting into another piece of software to generate clean
uvmaps for my character etc.
For y'all who do not know what I am talking about I'll explain it a bit.
A 3d model is built out of polygons, if you want to paint on the model we
need to have a flat 2d representation of  the model.
This is called a uvmap.
In the process of making a model the uv's can get mixed up like crazy.
To lay them out perfectly so you can understand what it is you need a uv layout
kind of program.
In this program you can flatten out these mixed up uv's and get a clean representation
of the 3d model in 2d.

I've had the program on the shelve for some time
but was freaked out by the brilliantly hideous interface.
I know it is probably the best piece of software to get the job done so
tomorrow I'll dive into it to get sh!t done!

More to come!

woensdag 19 september 2012

Cinema4d v 14

I've got my c4d 14 last week so after installing it and setting up my preferences/shortcuts/interface/plugins I am ready to roll.
I've decided to buy this version cuz of a couple of reasons.

1st sculpting, I love zbrush but hate the interface/workflow and since I am not doing major character design this will suffice for me.
I just love the c4d sculpting interface, it is very easy and self explanatory.
This tool will definitely be something I will be using on the project to make some nice folds, clothes, dirt and details etc.
What the catch is with this nice technique is that it has to have good uv coördinates, and that is also a thing I have to wrap my head around.

Integration with Nuke, since this is a long project I wanted to fix the post in nuke, I love the program, it looks so cool and I love node based workflows.

Anyhoo, c4d has new integration with nuke...well noooo, not really, the thing I am craving for since a year or 3 is correct camera exchange from c4d to nuke, it goes via fbx format.
This format contains keyframed animation of obj's and camera's.
For some reason c4d camera's always flip in nuke, it is a known problem and I find this very sad.
They boast with the nuke exchange but when push comes to shove it doesn't work quite yet.
I hope they pull some code strings in the near future so that I can do my compositing in nuke.

This weekend I will do some character work I guess.
It is time to invest major hours into the correct setup of my character, not really looking forward to the shitload of hurdles but it has to be done.
And it will be done!!!

dinsdag 11 september 2012


In the bedroom hangs a toy plane on some strings.
I was figuring out how to move it a bit like the draft is playing with it.
After some playing around I found a workflow which works quite nice for this type of animation.
Also I had to figure out how to connect it to four strings which was kind of a challenge for me.

It is not physically correct but it works.
I used a spring to attach my plane and use some wind to influence the dynamics tag.
Then I added 4 nulls to the plane and another 4 to the ceiling.
I traced them and sweept them.
It is still in the works but for now it will do, its a subtle effect, nothing more nothing less.

On to the next one, the character from the ground up.

zaterdag 1 september 2012


Good news, I have always used Cinema4d for my animations but never had the chance to purchase it.
Well, I have bought it now with a little help from a sponsor.
Back in the days I had a 2 day course C4d at Enyacad(Rotterdam)
Nicoline, the women who taught me a thing or 2 also is a reseller of C4d, so we came to an understanding which means I get a phat discount :D
Love it, so make sure to check her site at:

So if you are looking for some personal or group courses go to the site and get the info you need!

I always want to pay for software and I think that if you can you should!
So yeay, that one is in the pocket.

And now back to the project, after making the hall the entrance is next.
It took some time to set it up, but I am close to a satisfying result.
I have used some stock models and some free ones from the net to complete my room so thats that.
Without my intentions I am feeling the Anton Pieck vibe I was talking about earlier.

So here it is, it is still in progress but I wanted to share this with y'all!

If it is done I'll post the final!

donderdag 30 augustus 2012

The hall

I am busy doing the hall right now, it is still serene but looks good.
These renders take about 5 minute so that is acceptable.
I won't add to much detail into this one.
I have graded this one a bit in Nuke.
And one more of the bedroom:D
No grade.
Tomorrow I am hitting the stairs:D


dinsdag 28 augustus 2012

Timmy Benson's bedroom

After I have made all the exterior houses and such I took a good time to think about how the boys room would look like.
I love old and incorporated lots of elements of my own childhood in it such as the telescope, toys etc.


It took me about 3 weeks to get to this result, lots of testing out the lighting, adjusting the materials especially the bump and speculars.
There are still some things to fix in this render but it comes close to what I want.

All the models are by me, I collected a lot of them through the years and put them on display here on the shelves.
I will finish this room today or tomorrow and then I will start with the hall and stairs.



maandag 27 augustus 2012

First steps

Today is the day I took time to make a blog about my petproject What killed Timmy Benson?

First, a bit about myself, I am Nick Cremers, 33years old, I live in Hilversum(the Netherlands)with my girlfriend a bunny and a dog named Dexter.
I am a motion graphic designer, went to design school some years ago and finished my degree on the Dutch Movie and Television Academy in Amsterdam.
Since then I worked some boring job got fired thanks to recession and found work at Redrumbureau.com, it is really fun and I hope to progress in my field like hell.
I work 4 days a week and got time for jobs on the side with my small company www.theescapeplan.nl

Now back to the project.
It will be a short 3d animation about a young curious boy who finds himself in a tale about ghosts and darkness.

I always wanted to create a story and build a whole world around a character to challenge myself in different areas.
Storywise, storyboarding, 3d modeling, texturing, lighting, rendering, compositing, grading, editing and sounddesign.
To make it even harder on myself I will try to make it stereo.

I have made my main character Timmy Benson a while back, this will be the look I am intended to go for.

He is young, filled with curiosity, is adventurous and has no clue about what is about to happen.

Visually I am inspired a lot by Dutch hero Anton Pieck and Charles Dickens.
Pieck designed a theme park called the Efteling which has an awesome look.
I try to go there once a year and have a good time while being there.
This in conjunction with my love for dark mysterious things made this story very fun to come up with.

The time in which it plays is somewhat mixed, I love the houses they build here in the 1800's, but hint in my design to different kind of earas, the interiours will look all classic and I try to keep modern things on a low scale.

I am dedicated to finish this project, I have started half a year ago and it is coming together one step at a time.
Patience is the key word and time is something I will need in vast majorities.

Software I use: Cinema4d, for some shots I will be using Vray for rendering, compositing will be done in Nuke/After effects.
As the project evolves I will share knowledge and clips about the project.

Thanx for reading this and I hope to keep it interesting, cuz I think I will be finished with the 2D version first in about 1,5 to 2 years.
Take a deep breath and stay tuned!!!
By the way, push the button on the bottom of the page to follow this blog cuz it's awesome...