As an experienced designer+developer in the print and web industries for over 10 years, simulating 3D artwork was a common practice. I always wished I knew how to create the real thing, but the cost of learning was always very high. Then in 2006 I discovered Blender and decided to figure it all out.
Now that the tools were accessible, I knew that, with enough time, I could teach myself the skillset. Nine years later, I'm a much more experienced 3D artist and have begun to incorporate professional 3D visualizations and motion graphics into my freelance service offerings.
I'm currently in the process of developing a GUI app for OSX, Linux and Windows that will make using the Brenda render farm software much, much easier for Blender artists. One of the roadblocks to wide scale adoption of the Brenda package is that it is completely command line based and this really trips people up.
My new commercial app will provide a GUI interface for the Brenda tools as well as a much more streamlined workflow for uploading blend files, ordering AWS render nodes (instances) and downloading completed frames. For more information, please read the project info page here: BrendaPro App Development News
I launched and continue to manage the community forum site BrendaPro.com for users of James Yonan's Brenda render farm software. Brenda is a free collection of python scripts that allows Blender artists the unprecedented ability to create their own render farms using rented server instances from Amazon Web Services.
Not only that, but it also allows users to take advantage of AWS's spot pricing which allows rental of servers that Amazon considers under-utilized at fractions of the on-demand pricing. Users are reporting savings of up to 80% off comparable commercial render farm services!
I had the privilege of working with Dottlers in 2015 for the purpose of developing a re-usable rendering pipeline for generating multiple product rendering videos for their new business.
The core idea of the Dottlers business is allowing artists to create a custom design for their canvas high top sneaker and to crowdfund the production of that product through pre-orders. Each time a new design is submitted and approved, a new product page is created, which requires a new animated rendering of the shoe with the new design.
My job was to create a physically accurate 3D model of the shoe, and then to work with Dottlers to create a rendering template that they could run as an on-demand service via their own servers each time a new product was added to their system.
In order to faciliate a fast turn around time, I was able to pre-render much of the content, and then apply the differing 2D design textures via compositing in Blender (on the server). Notably, usage of the Map UV node in Blender's compositor, along with pre-rendered UV pass frames, assisted with the set up of this process. By choosing to composite the design on the live server instead of rendering from scratch, frame render times were reduced from 15 minutes per frame to 3 seconds per frame.
I've been a regular contributor in answering people's questions about various Blender-related topics on the popular Q&A site Blender.StackExchange.com. My main areas of expertise are Cycles, Rendering, Python, and Texturing. I enjoy helping people solve tough problems in these (and other) areas.
I was able to put together a reel of motion graphics projects that I've been a part of over the last few years. Some are 3D projects done with Blender, some are 2D projects done in Adobe Flash.
Prior to the launch of the CG Cookie Market site, I had been in development on the idea for this addon. Jonathan Williamson asked me if I would consider including this addon for sale as one of the founding vendors on the CG Cookie Market web site.
The AutoMaps Texture Group Manager Addon is a tool that enables groups of related image textures to be loaded into a material as a group, as well as easy reloading of all the images. The tool is particularly handy for artists who are working on texture files outside of Blender in a image editor. I'm excited to continue development of this tool for artists and to see the succes of the new market site.
I was able to work with Bob Marshall to provide modelling services for a recent MindGym marketing campaign in the UK. You can view the Video Ad here as well as see some still images here from the project.
Bob writes: "My team was tasked with creating some forty or so realistic-looking 3D models as part of a major re-branding project for Mind Gym London. The client specifically requested bespoke models which were unique to them and not bought 'off-the-shelf'. For this project I hand-picked a team of four very talented 3D artists in order to deliver this project within a very tight deadline. Each artist was selected on evidence of their of hard-surface and organic 3D modelling skills. Todd's help was invaluable and extremely professional at all times during the project. He is an excellent communicator and I was impressed with his knowledge and expertise with using the Blender 3D software."
In 2010, born from some limitations I ran into while testing ocean effects shots for the "Reign of Fury" project, I organized a crowdfunding campaign ("SaveTheOceanSim") to port the Ocean Sim tools from 2.49 to the new 2.5 version of Blender. I was able to raise almost $2500 in the course of a few months, and hired Matt Ebb to port the module as well as add new features (foam mask, modifier version, OpenMP support) to the code. To help people get up to speed with the new module, I wrote a Quick Start Guide. As a result, many happy community members have begun to incorporate this tool in the projects, and a number of high profile tutorials on the Ocean Sim module have been produced.
I was featured in an interview in the January 2013 issue of German magazine Digital Production. The interview was part of a larger article that focussed on the current state of ocean simulation in Blender 2.6, and my interview was regarding my involvement in organizing the project to get the Ocean Sim module ported to, and upgraded in Blender 2.6. The article was written by Gottfried Hofman. Article Link (PDF)
On the side, I'm working on a short film using Blender, entitled "Reign of Fury" which will aim to explore both sides of the 793AD Viking attack on the Lindisfarne Monastery in Northumbria. Initial storyboards, a partial animatic, and some early Voice-Over recordings have been completed. This project is a labour of love, and will probably take a long time to complete!
In 2011, I had the priviledge of attending the Blender Conference in Amsterdam (trip post). It was a great time to meet community members as well as learn about new projects and techniques that others are working on. I was also able to meet with some key devs and discuss the steps required to approve and include the Ocean Sim tools into Blender trunk (which we did!).
Also, check out my logo design for the conference. It didn't win, but I was happy with it.
In 2012, I organized and presented the very first meeting of the Toronto Blender User Group where we were able to meet some local Blender artists and present some of our past or ongoing projects. We've met three times so far, and hopefully will have more in the future!
The following members of the Network share a professional connection with Todd McIntosh. A connection is a way of endorsement, stating they work or have worked together in the past.