Lookdev Kit 2.3 UPDATE

General / 02 September 2020

I had a lot of work lately and I couldn't find time to publish new update. But here it is :)

You can download it from MY STORE FOR FREE 

RELEASE NOTES:

02. September 2020 - Lookdev kit 2.3

- SHADER GENERATOR (SHD GEN) - Added new feature called Shader Generator - You just have to type in shader name, choose texture/shader channels that you want to use and click create. It will generate a shader with added aiColorCorrect, aiRange, aiClamp and aiColorToFloat nodes. You just have to connect your textures and start your lookdev process. 

- Checker texture scale set to 3 so that checker tiles are a bit smaller in the viewport.

- Color Management (CM) and OCIO - LDV kit now supports use of ACES config in the CM preferences. If you use ACES config it will automatically detect it and switch IDT on skydome to the proper color space. It expects linear images because most of the HDRs from internet are linear. 

I'm still trying to figure out how to handle multiple files with different color spaces. In the end I will probably create a ACES converter...

- fixed Refresh HDRs command - there was a bug on recent Maya/Arnold versions that made .tx creation to crash. It is fixed now.


Shader Generator Ui


Shader Generator node output

Just delete the old version and copy new in the same place. 

Don't forget to check DOCUMENTATION PAGE for more details about Lookdev Kit functionality.

If you have any errors and bugs feels free to contact me.

Cheers!


Lookdev Kit 2.2 UPDATE

General / 27 May 2020

This update is not much about new features, mostly improving and fixing existing functions

You can download it from MY STORE FOR FREE

RELEASE NOTES:
27. May 2020 - Lookdev Kit 2.2.3

- Improved Auto - Framing function. I've written new Auto Framing function that calculate object size much better than previous one. Also it is much faster and optimized. Still, in some cases you will have to adjust framing slightly.

- Auto - Framing now moves camera depending on the asset size (in previous version camera was scaled)

- If your asset is moved away from scene center in X or Y (left, right, up or down) direction Auto-framing will move camera to match X or Y position of your asset.

- If parts of the asset are in the -Y space the Shadow plane will move down so that parts of the asset are no longer under the shadow plane. 

- Auto Focus function - when creating Lookdev scene with asset selected Lookdev kit will run Auto - Framing and also Auto - Focusing - it will move focus plane so it matches your asset position. You can still tweak the focus plane after initial setup. (It sitll doesn't work well if asset is moved in Z axis, but I'm working on it)

- Multi-threading when doing HDR conversion to .tx and .jpg. New function for Refresh HDRs command. It will check how many cores you have and run enough processes to saturate your entire CPU. It will save 1 thread so your PC doesn't slow down completely. 

- OCIO config check - if you use OCIO config in color management it will load HDRs as Utility - Raw. If you don't use OCIO config it will load them as standard Maya Raw. 

- Focus Plane text is now loaded from separate Maya scene. I had some reports of this text generation crashes Lookdev kit.

- Added Shutdown checkbox to Batch rendering UI. If you check it your PC will shutdown after rendering

- Macbeth chart and spheres also update X and Y position based on your asset

- Added button that will open Lookdev kit documentation web page (bottom right question mark - ?)


Auto-Framing OLD behavior

Auto-Framing NEW behavior


Auto-Focus will try to focus on your asset based on the asset size
  

Special thanks to Arvid Schneider - arvidschneider.com - for testing and reporting a lot of stuff in this release.

Don't forget to check DOCUMENTATION PAGE for more details about Lookdev Kit functionality.

Have fun using it and please report any bugs :)

Cheers!

 

LookdevKit 2.0 - Features/First preview

General / 19 March 2020

I finally managed to write a semi - stable version that has new features and works better than first version. I started learning Python on this project, so it is not 100% bulletproof. There are still chances of some bugs, crashes or unexpected behaviours. 

And now, here is a preview of what you can expect when I release it (probably next week). There is a possibility that I will remove, change or improve some features. 

It will stay free, as the last version was. I hope you like it and that you will find it useful. 

Due to my current lack of coding knowledge, first release will be Windows only. It will eventually come to Linux also. It is still a Arnold/Maya only tool, but I plan to include more render engines in the future.

Cheers!

Lookdev kit on Artstation store

General / 18 July 2019


Artstation finally enabled release of the free products, so I am moving Lookdev kit to the Artstation store. Price stays the same as always - FREE :)


You can find it here -> DOWNLOAD LINK


This is a great move from Artstation because I can add free products to the Artstation store. Also, if you find this product useful you can leave me a small tip before the download.

Cheers!

You can find it here -> DOWNLOAD LINK

link to the original post on Artstation -> LINK

Lookdev kit - Update 02

General / 21 February 2019

Here is another update to the Lookdev kit. It is a small one, but it fixes the problem with converting environment map to .tx. Also there is a new HDR in the HDR slot 01 and a Focus plane to control focus and depth of field. Here are more details about this update:


DOWNLOAD LINK


RELEASE NOTES:

19.02.2019. Update 02:


- Added Focus Plane to control Arnold Depth of Field Focus Distance (aiFocusDistance)


- Depth of Field control attributes on the Focus plane


- added new HDR on HDR slot 01


- fixed problem with converting environment map to .tx. Thanks to Arnold Dev team! This was a major problem in previous version.


Focus plane for camera focus control


New HDR from hdrihaven.com


DOWNLOAD LINK


Please let me know if you have any issues with this version. 

Also, I am open to suggestions on how to further improve the tool. 

You can find more info about Lookdev kit on the Original blog post or in the readme file inside the downloaded zip.

Lookdev kit - Update 01

General / 04 February 2019

Here is the new update for Lookdev kit. I know it took a while but I was pretty busy. Here are new updates:


DOWNLOAD LINK


RELEASE NOTES:

04.01.2019. Update 01:

- HDR selection slider - SUPER special thanks to Aleksandar Kocic for some coding magic that made the pivot snap to the HDR numbers. 

- removed albedo AOV that was left behind.

- I added some colors to the scene elements.

- scene is a bit more organised.

- loc_object_rotation_01 was left outside of the group because of parent constraint.

- global transform control for the entire Lookdev scene (move, rotate, scale).


HDR selection:


Global control:


KNOWN ISSUES:

01. HDR version slider knows to be a bit buggy, if the snapping stops, just deselect it and select it again.

02. I had to remove the .tx file and had to load original multi - layered .exr for Skydome. Due to the OIIO update in Arnold I couldn't load multi - layered .tx file. I didn't have any problems because of using .exr, I hope it will work for you. I asked Arnold devs about this and I hope solution is coming in the future.


WARNING: 

Do not create .tx for lookdev_hdri_2k_01.exr, it will probably not work in newer versions of Arnold. 


Please let me know if you have any issues with this version. 

Also, I am open to suggestions on how to further improve the tool. 


DOWNLOAD LINK


Cheers!


You can find more info about Lookdev kit on the Original blog post or in the readme file inside the downloaded zip.


Lookdev Kit

General / 25 August 2018

In the last couple of weeks I created one simple scene that can help a lot in lookdev process with Maya and Arnold. 

I created one multilayered exr that consists of 10 different HDRs, in other words - one file > multiple different HDRs. This way you can just change one parameter on Skydome light (HDR version attribute) and HDRs instantly change. This saves time when you want to test your shaders in multiple lighting scenarios and you don't have to change HDRs manually by hand. 

One note about HDRs - most of them are from hdrihaven.com and other free sources. 

0 - 4 - interior HDRs

5 - 9 - exterior HDRs

Lookdev kit is made to be used as a Maya reference, so it can easily be removed and keeps the main lookdev scene clean.

You can check out installation process and workflow in the following videos:


Sorry for my bad English, it is my second language and this was the first time I ever recorded an instructional video, I will get better in time. :)

Lookdev kit is still in the development, so if you have some suggestions or anything you can always write a comment or contact me directly by email. 


It is only for Maya and Arnold, if I find time I will maybe create something similar for more render engines. 

First thing that I will do in the future is to correct exposure on some HDRs and do a correct color balance.


You can get the current version HERE

Here is the Artstation artwork link


It is FREE for everyone and always will be.

Make sure to read the readme file in the zip archive.

I wanted to put it on Artstation marketplace or Gumroad but it is not possible to have free product this big, so it ended up on my Google Drive



CGA - Skin Shading with Arnold 5 Workshop

General / 27 July 2018

*original post was published 26th November 2017.


During the November of 2017. I had an opportunity to do something I haven't done yet - to share my knowledge at the CGA conference as an Arnold Workshop Tutor.  I decided to go with a basics of skin shading in Arnold 5, as the new SSS in Arnold 5 was a bit mysterious for a lot of people. As a model I used scanned head of Emily O'Brien, also known as Digital Emily from Wikihuman project. The Workshop and the entire CGA conference were great, I had fun with a lot of friends that I haven't saw for a while and also met a lot of new people interested in the computer graphics. Here are some shots from the workshop:





Philosophy of Photography

General / 27 July 2018

*original post was published 25th October 2017.


Couple of years ago Sam Burford from Chelsea College of Arts contacted me and asked if he can use Coffee Table for his academic journal. I said yes, and eventually forgot about it. Few days ago I received a package containing a copy of Philosophy of Photography, featuring images of Coffee Table. Thanks to Sam Burford for this amazing surprise! Here are some images of this great academic journal:





Developing first film

General / 27 July 2018

*original post was published 14th January 2017.


Couple of days ago I have received a TLR (twin lens reflex) camera as a gift from my girlfriend. She bought me an old Mamiyaflex C2, made somewhere around 1960. It’s a fully mechanical camera made like a Swiss watch - no batteries or any digital parts.

Due to its old age and mechanical nature, the only way to test it is to shoot some film. I took a roll of 120 Ilford HP5+ 400 and used the lunch break at work to take some photos. But, because of the holidays, the only place that can develop B&W film was closed. Then I have decided to develop the film myself. Although I have never developed any film, there are a lot of guides on the internet, so I wrote down all the stuff needed for the process. I borrowed a Paterson tank from my friend Marina, bought all the chemicals I needed for the process and here are the results:




I was amazed by the results. Mamiyaflex lenses are probably the sharpest set of lenses I’ve ever tried (I have 3 analog cameras and at least 10 lenses and also a dslr) and the entire development process is really interesting. It adds a whole new level of fun to photography. I recommend anyone to try it.

Here is some technical info about the process:

Prewash: 1-2mins, distilled water

Developer: Kodak D76, dilution 1+1, 12mins, agitation first 10s every 60s

Stop bath: just a 3 full rinses with tap water, around 60-90s

Fixer: Fomafix, dilution 1+5 for 5mins, agitation for first 10s, every 60s

Wash: distilled water + a drop of “Taš”, local detergent for dishes

This blog post is not a tutorial or anything similar, I was so mind-blown by the whole process and a new camera that I decided to share my thoughts.

Now, back to CG :)