Just wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year, and share a couple of things (not CG/VFX related).
This is a painting of my wonderful daughter, made by Kyle Lambert (you’ve probably seen his recent photo realistic Morgan Freeman iPad painting), which is now hanging in my living room. He was nice enough to give it to me on Christmas Eve! Thanks Kyle!
And that very same day (Christmas Eve that is), and being music another great passion of mine, a good friend, Jonathan Levi, and myself wrote and recorded this song to close the year and to pick things up from where we left them, musically speaking, back in 2008.
Jonathan Levi (Vocals)
Jacobo Barreiro (Guitar, Electric Piano, Upright Bass, Drums/Percussion/Cello programming)
moma is a tool that works as a bridge between Autodesk Maya // The Foundry Mari and Luxology modo, allowing you to use modo’s renderer/Preview and generate fully featured LXO scene files right from inside Maya // Mari.
In Maya you can easily export the scene content as a fully featured modo scene (.lxo), or simply work directly from inside Maya, having available most of modo’s rendering features, including its interactive preview renderer (Preview).
In Mari it will allow you to directly see in Preview the textures that you’re painting, which will give you a quick feedback on how your maps behave in a better lighting/shading context. Of course the result can be also saved as an LXO and sent easily to modo.
Also, either in Maya or Mari, moma works with HDR Light Studio, an application the lets you easily to create/edit HDRI environments in real-time, which makes it a great tool for lighting, especially during look dev. You can tweak your environment and lights from HDRLS and immediately see the changes in moma’s Preview window.
Although the first release of moma was made available on the summer of 2012, I didn’t, until now, dedicate a post to it. I’ve spent quite a bit of my spare time during the last two years developing moma, which has helped me in different ways, especially as a learning experience.
Also, there are a few people that I thank for their help in different ways, but I especially like to thank Simon Smith from Lightmap for his time, effort and work porting moma’s Preview window to OS X and Linux, besides Windows.
moma is mostly written in Python, plus a small part in C++, and is freely available for any purpose.
A couple of days ago, April 3rd, 2013, was a shocking day here at LDAC campus. We’ve seen how LucasArts, the oldest video game company in the industry, and the one that brings many nostalgic memories to people of my generation, was being shut down causing around 150 people to be laid off. Very talented people who I’m sure will be very demanded anywhere else, but who have put a lot of time and effort into the company and its projects. Many of them were fulfilling their dreams of being part of a universe that they were big fans of since they were kids. They all have worked uncountable hours and put all their passion in something they believed in.
Today, it was very sad to see the people who at some point I had the pleasure to work with, saying goodbye. It was very strange looking at the events, like an outsider, but not feeling like one. I honestly didn’t know how to react to that. It will sound cheesy, I know, but fuck it; LucasArts has a very special place in my heart. I’ll always remember the time I spent there and the people who made it so amazing. From the first person who gave me the chance, to the person who strongly believed in me and made the dream of being a part of that to become true. And through all the talented people who helped me, who I learned from, who I laughed with, who bared with me… to all of you, a huge thank you. I really hope we cross paths again.
I can’t help to think how close LucasArts was of being back in the place it was once, and for that, how unfair for developers and fans this feels. There were some amazing projects currently going on at LEC, and I had the privilege of having worked in one of them for quite some time: Star Wars 1313, which even though many of you had the chance to get a taste of it, believe me, it was just the tip of the iceberg.
It’s really sad to think that such amount of brilliant work that these teams put together will never see the light.
So while thinking how much all this sucks, I felt like letting the people who I’ve shared some of the best moments in my career with know how I feel about it. To all of you, who dedicated part of your life to those projects, may the force be with you.
I get excited about these things, so I had to share it. At the end of each show, ILM organizes a celebration where what they consider the best work on different disciplines gets awarded. I’ve been lucky to get a ‘Best Environment’ award for participating, with other people, in building the futuristic San Francisco that you see in the movie. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun seeing the shots I’ve worked on to come together!
Star Wars 1313, a new Star Wars game franchise, was officially announced a few days ago. Today, on SpikeTV and live from E3, some of its first gameplay moments (just a small part of the whole demo) have been finally revealed. All in engine, real time.
I have to say that I feel very lucky to be a part of this project, a close collaboration between LucasArts, ILM, Lucasfilm Animation and Skywalker Sound. I’ve learned a lot during the production of this piece, and there’s a lot more to learn until the end of the project. I can’t wait to keep pushing the limits of technology to get the best possible results, and give all the Starwars fans a game to be remembered.
E3 2012 Demo:
“Cowboys & Aliens” is released today, and there are some reasons that make this to be a very special event to me. I had an amazing experience while participating in the film as a CG Artist at ILM’s Digimatte department, for which I’ve got an ILM internal award to Best Environment, which I’ve received on the same day of my daughter’s first birthday! An talking about birthdays, today… it is my birthday! So there you go, quite a few reasons to feel excited about it :)
I’ve recently been interviewed by Dimension 2.5, a Spanish site about VFX, to share some of the experiences I’ve gone through during the last few years, including my current role as CG Artist in the digimatte department at ILM. Thanks to Miguel Gómez from Dimension 2.5 for making it possible. You can read the interview here [Spanish].