The January Epiphany meeting 1-17-2015

Well if you missed it, you missed it, as January was certainly a meeting of new beginnings.  Here’s who didn’t miss it:

PHYSICAL ATTENDANCE (13):  Jevelyan; Alex Fontana; James Gable; Gene Wyatt; Paul Coones; Rhett Jackson; Jason Clarke; Michael Vincerra; Cary Hull; Tom Lechner; Chris Kerchum; Nate Sullivan; and Bode Smith.

This year our wondrous host ~ The Art Institute of Portland, greeted us with all new monitors, each with a built-in camera and mic.

Beyond the packed room of people we also had several others join us across the globe on-line through 3 computers that we daisy chained into Google +:

VIRTUAL ATTENDANCE (5):  Paul Birk; Nick Butler; Bow Reshma; Yassine Zaroui; and Stephen Gierek.  And, we were so close to having book publisher and BlendTuts web man, Oliver Villar join us virtually.  Maybe next time.









SESSION 1 started off with a sharing
 of Oliver Villar’s latest video tutorial, Video Motion Stabilization in Blender

Other Blender & CG World News consisted of :

  • Substance is a very new website, apparently focusing on materials and texturing.
  • LuxRender 1.4 RC3 which came out 12/24/14.
  • Mixamo, “Create, rig, and animate 3D characters in minutes, not days” apparently offers a  free trial.
  • NoEmotion HDRs with day, evening, night and other HDR categories.
  • Seamless Texture Library Quality texture library for digital art, Photoshop, video games, 3D modeling & animation.
  • BlenderGuru asking for request for tutorial ideas through 2015.
  • Nuke 9 Is Here  & Free Licenses Are Soon to Follow: VFX Artists Rejoice.
  • Free eBook, Blender 2.6 Cycles: Materials and Textures Cookbook.
  • This amazing free app makes 3D photos.
  • BlenderAid website for educational support.
  • Things Blender Beginners Must Know.
  • Natron is an open-source, cross-platform nodal, compositing software.
  • Generate your normal, displacement and ambient occlusion maps online with NormalMap Online.
  • Make Theory beta, Theory Animation’s project pipeline system. Work together from anywhere.

Next we had Jenuvyel reviewing some of the upgrades on Blender v. 2.73 in its UI and Modeling.

Cary showed his latest developments with a home constructed 3D Virtual viewer a game he is working on. He even showed us some of his animation work.

Rhett covered his experiments with his new 3D Structure Scanner. Fish Scan

  • On the left is a scan done by the tablet alone. 17,267 faces.
  • In the center is a scan done by the table while “tethered” to a desktop computer. 59,236 faces.
  • On the right is the middle object reduced to 20,000 faces and UV textured.

Rhett also covered some of his works with Pixel Art techniques.

Alex recapped website monthly banner evolution for 2014, including the final which concept by Lisa that used Gimp and silhouettes to generate gif animations like the Ninjas on Ice pictured here.

Alex and Lisa’s next proposal was for group project animation of the 2015 banners.  The project features a Mardi Gras Mask blender file that you can download by hitting the link.  It has the start of shape keys.  The idea is for everyone to try and create the additional modeling shown in the background.  Any club member who participates will be credited, regardless if their work is used or not.  This is a great (small modeling project for Newbs.)

Tom Lechner showed us his work on his Asteroids game in which you are in the space ship rather than looking down on it.  He even incorporated a star map.  The asteroids are even correctly lit using the sun, so if you’re on the wrong side you might not see them until it is too late, just like being in real space!  He also shared Insane Bump 2.0 from Blender Artists.

And then, Nick was able to link in with the help of James and show us some of his art and animation work.


Learning Blender Book….. The new book, “Learning Blender,” by Oliver Villar was reviewed.
 Of the book reviewers thus far,

Newb – Michael showed us his progress to date along with his review posting on Amazon.

Alex – Displayed his alien that he purposely created as a deviation from the book, whom he calls Carl and some of the issues that one might encounter such as leg alignment and rigging. Carls Ride Pictured here, you can see a rough render of Carl in helmet excitedly standing next to his ride share that he got from  Blender Swap’s spaceship contributor CC Zero.

Jenuvyel’s “Tatiana” project, was another character variation developed while reviewing the book.  In this adaptation, Jenuvyel was able to show the potential of working with an anime character from the “Last Exile” series, all the way through motion tracking and walk cycle.


Then with time once again running short we concluded our meeting with a brief 
“Learning Blender” Book Prizes!  The first of 4 copies went to Michael ‘don’t-take-no-mugshot’ Vincerra.  CONGRATULATIONS MIKE!  Who will get the next copies?

Many thanks to all those who contributed to another successful meeting, namely, Jevelyan, Alex, Angael Ubiker and James Gable.  Forgive us if we forgot to mention any others.  And realize, without those who joined in, there would be no success.  Thanks all.

If you have ideas or comments for improving future meetings, please let us know below or at  Till then Happy Blending.

Posted in Blog, Character Creating, Compositing and Special VFX, Meetings Tagged with: , ,
4 comments on “The January Epiphany meeting 1-17-2015
  1. Is there a way I can register or join this school? Or is it for members only?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Jacob, This is actually a user group meeting – it’s free. We meet the third Thursday of every month. And the Art Institute of Portland has been nice enough to let us use their space. No registration. If you’re a Blender user and are interested in attending, show up in February with some of your work for show-n-tell, or if you’re just getting started, just show up.

    • Jenuvyel says:

      Jacob, I’ve added you to our Google+ circles. At least I hope I selected the correct “Jacob Merrill.” So you will get a web invite to join us virtually, if you’re unable to join in person.

      Send us an email at to get on our email list.

      And join us on FaceBook at Lots of interaction there.


    • PwrPen says:

      Hi Jacob,

      In addition to the monthly meeting, you can join any of us at anytime on Facebook (BlenderPDX group) or on Google+ (BlenderPDX)

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