Avatar, the best movie I’ve ever seen

loocas | miscellaneous,opinions | Monday, December 28th, 2009

Avatar

This film has to be seen at least two times! I’ve seen it three times already and I’ll be going to see it at least once more again. The experience is mind-blowing! This is, simply put, the best movie I’ve ever seen.

The first two times I went to see the standard, “2D”, version of the film, which was in the original audio. And it was massive. But today, I’ve seen this masterpiece in IMAX in 3D, which seems it has always been meant to be seen like that. And I must say, the visual orgies are overwhelming! I was sitting there (in the very center of the movie theater), mouth and eyes wide open with goosebumps all over my body. Pandora completely grabbed me and didn’t let go until the final credits showed up. It was this massive!

The only drawback was the Czech dubbing. It wasn’t bad, but I’d rather see the film with the original sound. Unfortunately the dubbed version is the only one available for IMAX in this country. But still, since I’d already seen it in English twice, it wasn’t such a big deal after all.

Anyways, if you haven’t seen this movie in IMAX yet, BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW!

Checksums in 3ds Max

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,Python,technical | Sunday, August 10th, 2008

After reading a very interesting and helpful article about checksums and how practical they are for comparing large datasets over at Adam Pletcher’s Tech Art Tiki blog, I was immediately interested in such methods as I’m doing some R&D on data management in a larger creative environment and need such a feature. Unfortunately, MAXScript natively doesn’t support MD5 hashes (or any other kinds of hashes), so you’re pretty much stuck with just a few options.

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Connecting to a MySQL database from CG applications.

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,Maya,Python,technical | Saturday, August 9th, 2008

I’ve been recently doing some R&D on MySQL databases and connection through Python in Maya as well as Python in Max (through blurPython library), but I couldn’t seem to have found a way to connect to a MySQL database via ODBC. The problem lied in OLE methods as they’re not both much documented in MAXScript reference and they’re tied to the operating system, not Max directly. But thankfully, I bumped into a solution today, out of a blue :)

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3D procedural textures are actually 3D!

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript,technical | Saturday, June 7th, 2008

Have you ever thought that you actually can display a 3D procedural (such as Noise, Cellular etc…) in the 3D space? No? Well, then know that it is possible and it’s nothing difficult. Well, the most difficult part will be what should actually represent the color values. The representation is up to you, but for my experiment, I chose simple point helpers (nulls) of a very small size so that they looked almost like points (vertices would have done as well).

Take a look at this short video capturing the result of modeling a noise procedural:

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Custom UV and Tracking maps for VFX professionals.

loocas | miscellaneous,technical | Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

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Specialists demand special tools. This is what drove me to create these two, very specific, custom texture maps for VFX professionals. The first of the two is a custom UV texture map used for visually evaulating the level of precision and correctness of UV coordinates on 3D meshes. The other one is a custom TRACKING texture map developed for compositors for 2D tracking purposes of 3D renders or any other 3D elements that were 3D tracked and rendered.

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ViewportRL script released

loocas | 3ds Max,maxscript | Saturday, February 2nd, 2008

Have you ever missed a “constant” (flat) viewport display mode? Well, thankfully it has been in Max for ages, however, the implementation isn’t as smooth and easy to use as it should be. Since I like this method for reviewing forms, especially during modeling, I wrote a simple function for toggling to and from the constant display mode and linked it to a macro so you can map it to your favourite keyboard shortcut (I use F5). There’s also an enhanced wireframe toggle function that you can re-assign (recommended) to F3 or whatever else you used to using for wireframe display.

The installation is as simple as dragging and dropping the .mzp file into your running 3ds Max application. Done, it’ll install and get ready for usage automatically. You can then assign any keyboard shortcut to the functions in the Customize > Customize UI window under “duber’s tools” category.

Download the duberRL installer and install as described above. ENJOY!

Here’s a preview video of how it works (I only pressed F3, F4 and F5):

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