A blog about VFX, scripting, van renovation, and some other gubbins.



8th October

Timelines are expensive, so in this guide I will demonstrate how to trigger a simple animation on a material using blueprint events.

9th August

A mix for a picnic

17th February

I didn't think this day would come so soon, and I still can't believe it's real.

23rd January

This is useful for, for example, triggering different weather conditions. In this example I'll add different types of snow.

15th January

Block access to your WordPress site's dashboard and login page.


9th November

Packaging up your Python script into a standalone executable is really useful for portability and distributing your tools for others to use.

11th February

This VFX project was an exploration into creating realistic fire which would burn from ignition, through initial burn to a roaring flame and then eventually dying.

7th February

Flipbook tool for Unreal Engine - easily make an animated flipbook texture without Adobe After Effects

5th February

The only good way to do this seems to be via the command line. In this circumstance I have about 5000 frames stored as png image files which are named sequentially xxxxx_0000.

4th February

Cloth materials in UE nCloth Creating a cached animation FX Select ncloth object > nCache  > Create new cache > nObject Looping Blend shapes: Cache Special Duplicat...

3rd February

A nice mix I put together to see in Spring. Enjoy!

29th January

As an example, say you want to spawn a blueprint actor called BP_FIRE_LOG and give it a unique ID number so that it can be referenced in the level.

28th January

// Select the vertices you want a locator at and run this MEL script. . string $vertices[] = `ls -sl -fl`; for($v in $vertices){ float $pos[] = `xform -q -ws -t $v`; string $newLoc[] = `s...

28th January

Maya Script Editor Middle click and drag a line of script to the shelf to add it as a function.

21st January

Animation Maya Shift click drag to select keyframes on the timeline Animation snapshot - useful for creating arrays of objects along a path You can export a hierarchical mesh to UE4 as a s...

14th January

Introduction to VFX. Riot Games tutorials. http://www. tharlevfx. com/ Choose a VFX area, 1 week study project Afternoon: Presentations Materials Conveyor belt scene Node shortcuts ...


10th December

Speedtree Click branches and hit W to edit that branch Spacebar and click on blank project to create a new trunk.

7th December

Dug deeper into Unreal Engine's powerful materials builder, including building materials which can be used in conjunction with vertex painting to create variation over surfaces.

3rd December

UE4 Materials Ctrl and click node connections to disconnect all and reconnect to something else Heightmaps need to be minimum 0.

30th November

Explored Substance Designer in detail including how to generate Ambient Occlusion outputs from height maps.

26th November

Substance Designer Always set new substance to Relative to Parent Set graph to 256x256 so the SD plugin works in UE4 Always good to create the height map in SD first, then colourise it Pre...

19th November

A week of baking!

17th November

Zbrush basics This week I worked on a skull on a table scene, to introduce the most common features of ZBrush.

12th November

Zbrush Alt + Click on object : select that sub tool   Brush Alt + click drag : opposite effect / different effect (e.

9th November


29th October

Lighting The image shows the basic light setup for a new level. Directional light: Onle angle matters.

22nd October

Unreal materials   Texture Coordinates node: plug this into a texture's UV input to change the amount of tiling.

21st October

The level will feature a variety of re-usable and some one-off assets. I will be using my experience of modelling in 3D Studio Max combined with recent skills learned in the classroom with Maya to pro...

15th October

Mesh modelling tutorials Booleans (Intersection and Union) Improving geometry by removing triangles IMPORTANT: Ctrl + Del on Edges to delete vertices as well, otherwise you will be left with ...

13th October

We started off the week with a review of our art bibles for the first module project.

11th October

My first assignment is to design an area for a level in a game, to be run on a mobile device.

8th October

Model something every day - Kristian Avigni, 2018 In keeping with this quote I will be modelling something every day.

6th October

As a beginner to Maya and UE4, week one has been information overload however Christian will be recapping over topics regularly over the coming weeks.

5th October

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1st October

Mood boards Cinematography Study lighting GDC talks GDC flipped normals transparency First project 2 room map for mobile top down don't have any transparency Think about what to create, do ...

22nd September

Happy 35 mate!

6th September

I'm currently sat on a little sofa next to Laurel, in our van, which is parked on the island of Mosterøy, Norway.

24th March

Behold, racking transforms into a kitchen before your very eyes.

17th March

I bought an old stable door without measuring the gap first. Foolish.

13th March

Started building the back wall.

12th March

Trudge on.

10th March

I've wired in a car radiator fan to provide ventilation at the front of the van.

7th March

To keep power usage down, USB sockets will provide power for lighting.

27th February

The next job is to install the leisure battery and mains hookup so we have power in the back for lighting and charging.

22nd February

I'm no carpenter, so rather than putting together some wobbly wooden structures, I took the easy option and used some lightweight racking.

1st February

It took all of 5 minutes to lay down the 3m x 2m wood effect vinyl sheet.

22nd January

Having finished the ceiling insulation, I decided to do the floor next before I start the walls, the reason being it makes more sense for the wall insulation and cladding to rest on top of the ply lin...

15th January

With the Luton box insulation finished, I continued working along the ceiling, cutting 50mm polystyrene rectangles to slot in between the batten wood I fixed in place previously.

12th January

I finally got around to starting the insulation - only 2 months behind schedule!


16th December

Out with the rotten ply floor boards, in with the decking timber.

27th November

Can you feel it?

14th November

They said it wouldn't rain. It rained.

5th November

Today I started work on the van... How exciting! Even though it commenced with one of the least glamorous of jobs - cleaning the roof - it was still great.

11th October

I can't do anything without modelling up a plan in 3D first.

9th October

And so it begins... This is the van we'll be doing up an hopefully living in for a while next year.