Archive for the ‘Website’ Category

New demo reel + website notes

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

I’ve recently updated my demo reel with some new content as well as a slightly re-worked turntable for my Fiat 500 model. The demo reel page also has a download option for the high-quality version of the reel. Check it out!

I’m also reviewing my website as  whole and am considering doing a pretty substantial redesign.  I like the overall branding and color palette, but some of the pages are redundant or don’t have places for some of the information I’ve posted.  In particular, I’d like to better-integrate my WordPress blog as well as expand my Portfolio section to include downloads for things like the Handyman, some of the MEL scripts I’ve worked on (more on the way!), and some of the tutorials I’ve made on this blog.  Stay tuned!

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Updated demo reel

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

While I’ve been making small edits to it here and there, it’s been a while since I compiled a new demo reel. I’ve incorporated a couple of work pieces into it as well as added a more elaborate turntable sequence for the Fiat 500 model I posted a few weeks ago. Check it out!

DBeach3d Demo Reel – September 2012 from David Beach on Vimeo.

Slower internet connection? Click here for a lower-resolution version of my demo reel.

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New script for download – DB3D Manipulator Creator

Friday, September 7th, 2012

I’ve been dabbling with MEL from time to time and developed what I’ve found to be a pretty useful tool for any kind of rigging: a NURBS curve generator. It builds NURBs curves in a variety of shapes (square, circle, sphere, others) that can be used as control objects for anything. While I’m not an expert at MEL, I’ve found the script to be pretty stable and there’s also some error-checking built into it to make sure it can be run safely without damaging other objects in your scene. Give it a shot!

Click here to download the script

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Updates incoming

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Over the past few days I’ve been going around and making some edits to the site. Most of these are technical fixes that, hopefully, nobody noticed needed doing. On the plus side, all video players on the site have been updated and now work in more browsers (including mobile)! I’ve got a few other updates planned in the coming weeks, including (but not limited to) projects I’ve worked on over the past year, Maya techniques that’ve really helped with my workflow, a MEL script or two that I’ve developed, and some other learning resources I’ve found. Stay tuned!

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Website updates – Resume

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

I’ve made some updates to the Resume section of my website (both the in-browser version as well as the downloadable PDF version) to reflect some of my recent freelance work as well as other jobs I’ve taken up in the past few months. Have any questions about my background? Shoot me an email at!

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Read any good books lately? I have!

Monday, May 24th, 2010

I haven’t been updating this blog as often as I should have, and I wanted to post a little to talk about what I’ve been working on the past few months.

I’ve recently completed my work contract with Maia Magnus Entertainment where I was brought in to work on a number of character rigs. I’ve done some rigging before for my own projects, but I’ve learned a lot in just a few short months and now feel like rigging is my strongest aspects. I’ve learned some MEL scripting as well, as well as customized Maya to speed up my workflow. I’d like to go into more details on the rigs but unfortunately I’m bound by NDA.

My work with Lich King Entertainment is still ongoing. I’ve spent most of my time studying texturing, using procedural nodes in Maya as a base to generate color, spec, and bump maps. I’ve recently incorporated ZBrush into the workflow, sculping the models in order to generate normal maps. I’ve also found ways to merge the normal maps out of ZBrush with pre-existing bump maps.

As for independent work, I’ve actually shifted gears a little bit and am reading up on character animation. I took a few classes at UGA and SCAD, but I was never formally trained in the ‘basics’ of character animation; I picked things up as I went along in my studies. I think I can churn out some pretty decent animation, but I know there are ways I can improve my workflow. With that in mind I’ve finally gone and read through The Animator’s Survival Kit, which I’m embarrassed to admit only reading now as I’ve had it on my bookshelf for the past five years (with it being recommended in my very first animation class back during my sophomore year in college). If you’re an aspiring animator, stop what you’re doing and order a copy of this book. It talks you through the basic concepts of animation and gives you case examples of every kind of walk cycle or character motion you can imagine. It’s geared a little more towards 2D animation than 3D, but the lessons transfer over between mediums very well.

I’m also taking a closer look at Acting for Animators. I took an acting class at UGA and while there’s a lot of overlap, this book is a pretty quick read and has some very valuable information as towards how to really ‘sell’ your characters’ behavior.

Maya is an amazing program and I know there are so many tools under the hood that I don’t know the first thing about that would help better develop my character animation skills. With that in mind I’ve recently ordered How to Cheat in Maya 2010: Tools and Techniques for the Maya Animator. I ordered this as a companion (or maybe foil?) to the Animator’s Survival Kit because as the name implies, this book is geared towards Maya users. I’m hoping I can combine the lessons in the two books to develop some new character animation pieces for my portfolio.

While we’re talking about learning resources, here are some books or tutorials I’ve studied that’ve really helped with my rigging work:

-The Art of Rigging Vol. 1 – The companion files and scripts that accompany the book alone are worth the very affordable $10 price tag. The information in this book is just a little antiquated, but it’ll guide you through how to put together some very powerful rigs and it goes into a good amount of detail about the MEL scripting that drives everything.

-Stop Staring: Facial Modeling and Animation Done Right – This book is specifically about setting up face rigs. They guide you through modeling a face and plotting out the geometry so that it’ll deform smoothly, as well as describes one-by-one the kind of blend shapes you’ll need to make a versatile rig. Like Art of Rigging, the companion scripts to this alone are worth the cost of the book— it includes a whole shelf of tools for things like setting up your blend shapes, building a UI for your face rig, and incorporating fix or half shapes is a snap. Highly recommended.

-Digital Tutors – It looks like they’ve gone subscription-only, but the tutorials on Digital Tutors have been a very valuable resource. I especially recommend their ‘Cartoon Character Rigging in Maya’ tutorial set; it doesn’t cover everything you’ll need to make an efficient rig, but combine this with the lessons in the Art of Rigging and Stop Staring and you’ll know everything you need to make a good rig.

That’s about all for now. Once I get my animation book in I’m thinking about redoing the animation in the Parkview Music Tech commercial, so I’ll post dailies as that comes along. Thanks for reading!

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New demo reel and rig video

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

This past week I revamped the Handyman rig I first created this past Fall.  I’ve posted a breakdown video demonstrating the rig’s functions in my video gallery.  I’ve also updated my demo reel; I swapped out a few animations to make room for the rig video.  Check them out!

Updated demo reel
Video gallery home page

Minor website updates

Monday, March 29th, 2010

I’ve done some tweaking to my website, primarily with updating my resume.  I’ve got a blog post in the works where I’ll talk more about the rigging work I’ve been doing lately, so I’ll try to have that up in the next day or two.

Viva la consolidation!

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

I’m testing automatically posting WordPress entries to Twitter and Facebook. Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3.

Website updates

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

I’ve revamped the Portfolio section of my website to include separate galleries for video clips and still images. Now you can watch clips one at a time or see things that aren’t on my demo reel!