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July, 2011


SquidNet Network Render Manager

A lot of people are aware of my absolute pure hatred of ButterflyNetRender, but what are better alternatives? Well, I’m finding that RenderPal blows in its own way, and Smedge after the change to its licensing set up so you are paying per node instead of a site wide license also sucks – there is little left on the market that is affordable to a small independent user or mid sized shop but can scale easily and not by sucking money out of your wallet. Or is there? A whileRead More

Iron Sky – Day 74

The fight for freedom continues here on Saturday morning. I just went to a local shop to pick up Samuli a replacement for what I destroyed in about 15 seconds simply by doing something I used to do 8 -10 hours a day before getting into this stupid VFX business. They certainly don’t make those things like they used to. Gives me an idea to go back into that business should I decide that being a lowly vfx guy (who happens to know what the fuck he is doing btw)Read More

Lightwave Plugin of the Week: Rope Editor Plus

Rope Editor Plus: If you need to make ropes or cables or anything that is rope-like, this is a plugin you should look at.

Iron Sky – Day 73

TGIF! Well maybe if we were not working 7 days a week. But hey, at least all the girls here are out wearing whatever they can to beat the heat. We are unfortunately stuck with it. The compositors are dying in this heat and we are in the same room with them so imagine how we feel. They have all the A/C and we get fans that blow around heat from the render farm. It’s totally awesome! Can’t blame them though, there is just no escaping it so it’s everyRead More

FanBoy Series 2 – UV Unwrapping

Its finally here! Part two of the Fanboy Series (Inspired by District 9) training teaches you the basics of unwrapping this complex model into a useable and well laid-out UV for painting up that scratched up paint, wear and tear!

Iron Sky – Day 68

Well its now Monday. Luke and I left here around 10:30 or 11PM I guess – I’m not sure if he stayed around. I told him to go home, but like always he was in the groove doing some neat stuff with LightWave’s ancient and decrepit SDK (by some peoples standards). He never ceases to amaze me that he’s able to code a plug in that would have put a certain someone out of a job on BattleStar Galactica because it completely takes out the tedious set up time involvedRead More

Iron Sky – Day 67

Luke and I are here in the office early on Sunday morning working away. Luke made breakfast which is awesome because nothing is open here at the moment and we were both starving. I think we owe someone a can of baked beans. Regardless of foodstuffs and restocking of the fridge – renders are going and Luke and I are in R&D mode. Luke writing yet another plug-in (this would be number 8 or 9 so far?) and me doing look dev on atmosphere entry effects. This is all stuffRead More

Iron Sky – Day 66

Saturday morning in Tampere is generally pretty quiet so I took the opportunity to come in really early and continue working on shots for Iron Sky here at the Energia Production office. Too bad its not cooler out. It’s about 40 maybe 45deg C in here again with all the machines rendering as fast and as best they can in this heat. The cleaning crew is here doing their thing. First thing the guy said to me as he walked in with his daughter who comes in and helps withRead More

Lightwave Plugin of the Week: Worley Labs

This week we highlight a whole bunch of plugins from Worley Labs. Sure, they’re not new, but most of them are still useful, and now they’re a whole lot cheaper!

Liberty3D Workstations by Shuttle Computer

Buy any of our training or tools from and receive a coupon for $100 dollars to put towards the purchase of a Liberty3D HD Workstation, built by Shuttle Computer.

Create video game sprites using LightWave 10

If you’ve ever been keen on creating 2D arcade-style video games yourself, then let Kevin Phillips (aka Kevman3D) show you how LightWave 10 and open source tools make it easy to get started!

Iron Sky – Day 62

And after a visit to the happy kitty basket (even if it is a metal rack cot) I’m back here in the offices at Energia. We have a busy day ahead of us full of lots of volumetric effects, rendering for shots and final tests on certain things including various weapons systems that have been under development for the past week or so. We had a bit of a problem with the render controller they are using here yesterday. I don’t know what it is about render controllers that isRead More

Iron Sky – Day 61

I have been up now for almost 25 hours if I do the math correctly. This is the second or third time in the last week I have done this kind of shift. Last time was actually a bit longer than a full day. It’s interesting what happens to your creativity when you are this tired, or wired or insomniac maniac poly-wack kat snack (I shouldn’t have said that, now I want food). It really has its ups and downs. With that said I am going to take my tiredRead More

Iron Sky – Day 60

It’s late night here at the VFX production office at Energia here in Tampere, Finland. For me I’m doing the late night shift by myself as Luke stayed even longer earlier today after we had both done about 16 hours on. I don’t know when he left but I hope he is sleeping well. He deserves it for sure. I’m currently spending my time putting a snazzy weapons effect together and then I have to get back to a series of shots that need my attention before being broken outRead More

Iron Sky VFX (Energia Productions) – Help Wanted! LightWave Artists!

As the post states, Iron Sky Visual FX here in Tampere, Finland is looking for some extra hands on deck and possibly remotely to work on Iron Sky. We are looking for the following: Strong Generalists able to model, light and when required texture. Should have excellent understanding of multi-pass shot break outs and rendering methods. In addition we seek LightWave artists with demonstrable skills (meaning you can do it and show us you can do it over skype session if need be) in PFX, Dynamics (Hard FX, FX LinkerRead More

Iron Sky – Day 58

Tuomas, Luke and I are in the office today with Samuli. We have discovered a really awesome fuck up with Modo if you send a LWO to it and make any changes. The problem is that if you have an object with multiple layers and fire it off to modo to do even the slightest edit, it will re-order the layers on save. When you bring this back into modeler or layout in LightWave3D, and that object is rigged with a purpose… oh boy does it really screw things up.Read More

LScripts and more!

Kevman3D has posted a whole schwack (yes that’s a technical term we use in production) of LScripts in our Forums freebies section. Remember, you have to be a registered user and logged in on our forums in order to access the freebies section, but registration is easy! Go for it!  

Painting with Polygons

This video is a couple of years old now, but it’s a well-done presentation that’s worth watching more than once. It’s a nice example of using tools in ways their authors probably never intended. From the video’s description: “Most non-photorealistic rendering solutions tend to involve brilliant but unwieldy new technologies, such as volume-based rendering engines or complex image analysis. Similar results can often be using simpler methods and non-proprietary toolsets, even toolsets designed with other effects in mind. Our studio has been experimenting with ways to achieve a hand-painted lookRead More

Spiderbait model and rig released.

William Vaughn has released his ‘Spiderbait’ model to the public. Fully textured and rigged ready for animation. Check out the link for full terms and conditions of use.

Lightwave Plugin of the Week: vRoom

Test of the vRoom plugin

Hi, and welcome to the first LW plugin of the week post here at There are a lot of amazing plugins for Lightwave out there, and not all of them are well known. We’ll be covering both free and commercial plugins made by Liberty3D citizens, and by others. This week we are highlighting vRoom by Eurisko Studios (Luke Whitehorn). vRoom puts virtual rooms behind the windows in buildings (and, I presume, space ship) renders. Here is a simple test I did with the plugin demo: There is no internalRead More