Neil Blevins :: Meet the Artist

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  11 November 2011
No questions here, but I wanted to say thanks for everything, Neil!
I've learned a lot about materials and their interaction with light on your homepage and still recommend it to others, who want to learn about those things. (Actually, I see there has been a lot of new content added since I last visited myself.)
Also your scripts have come in handy through the years.
So without you, my learning experience and workdays would have been quite a bit harder.
Thanks again!
 
  11 November 2011
Thanks Noren, glad you've found all those materials useful.

- Neil
 
  11 November 2011
Hi Neil,
I was just wondering, could you mow the lawn this weekend?
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- Donuts. Is there anything they can't do?

My website:
www.cleverevans.com
 
  11 November 2011
Ladies and gentlemen, it appears that my wife has decided on joining the conversation

And the answer is I'll mow it this weekend if it's not raining. The housework never ends

- Neil
 
  11 November 2011
Hi Neil, those tech floors really are amazing! I'm a sucker for greebles...

It's encouraging to see a scifi fan getting a chance to flex their muscles at Pixar when the opportunity comes up, working on Wall-E must have been a real treat. Does being into it give you more chance of getting to work on those projects, do they put word out internally for expressions of interest? Are there any new projects coming up in the genre, if you're allowed to let slip such a morsel?
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  11 November 2011
Originally Posted by soulburn3d: Thanks Jesse, I'm a fan of your work as well, I love that turtle character, your mudbox skills are indeed strong!

Ya, I really don't want to shortchange my kid, she deserves an attentive dad, I don't want her to grow up and say "Ya, my daddy spent all his time on the computer, so we didn't play much." That said, I am an artist and need a personal outlet for that, so finding a good inbetween is vital. Funnily enough, I sort of found it easier to do my own art when she was smaller, because even though I was exhausted, she did tend to sleep a lot. Now she's all about super activity, running around, opening cabinets, finding every dangerous item in the house and trying to eat it. My plan is starting in the new year to try and do at least one speed painting a week, to get back into a personal art schedule, and of course throw some tutorials and script writing in there when appropriate. So we'll see.

Man, with 3 kids, you really do have your hands full. Are any of them artists? Because there's part of my that hopes my kid's into art as well, then mom, dad and baby call all do art projects together.

Anyways, best of luck with that kid/art balance, it's a subject I really don't see discussed a lot of forums, probably because the parents are too busy to participate

- Neil


Wow, I'm pumped you liked my turtle guy. He was a fun one!

Your description of your daughter's energy sounds exactly like my daughter's. She's 17 months and just a whirlwind of sugar/spice, spittle, and hair. And boy, when she sees me on my computer, a whole new level of excitement powers up, hops in my lap (whether I want her to or not), at which point she lets me know her latest hotkeys and pipeline enhancements with her own gibberished vernacular. So there's promise there. My nine-year old is REALLY into art so I'm definitely going to start doing some art dates with her. I've kinda neglected that lately....

And yes, I rarely have time to get on these forums and post more than my own work at times but I just had to hop on and mingle with ya!

Thanks again Neil - perhaps in the future, we'll have the pleasure of meeting.
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  11 November 2011
Time to get deep!

I know that in your earlier work, music and dreams played a large part (the tapeworm images being inspired by night terrrors, etc).

As you have gotten older, presumably your music tastes, and dreams, have changed. How has this effected your personal work? Do you find your influences and inspiration still come from the 'inside'?
 
  11 November 2011
Hi Neil!
It's amazing to be able to read from your experience.

I’m really new to this competitive media; I just graduated from fine arts and I have almost none knowledge in real life… so, do you have any tip for those days where you aren’t feeling well, but you want to get things done?
Because when you catch a cold for example, it is really hard to focus. What do you do, given the situation?

Btw, I apologize for my crappy English.
 
  11 November 2011
Thanks Neil

For more than ten years the beautiful work of NB has been inspiring to me (back when his webpage was soulborn3d.com, and he was working for Blur Studios)
His tutorials were (are) priceless. And he is a real cool dude, and a very kind man. Thanks Neil.

Luis
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L u i s
my web / my sketch blog
 
  11 November 2011
Nice to see you around here Neil! I'm also a fan of your work and your education page from 10+ years, that is also one of the #1 references I show to my students, as you tend to first show how the materials work in real life before going to the 3D.
So, lets go for the questions:

1 - This is something I want to know for a long time: what do you actually do at Pixar as a TD?

2 - As I've been following your tutorials from a long time, I've seen you starting in Scanline, then doing things in Brazil and in the last tutorials you've been using mental ray. Have you considered updating some of your old tutorials to mental ray?

3 - Have you worked with vray? Also, do you still use scanline?

Thanks in advance!

Flavio
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  11 November 2011
Originally Posted by SciFibrow: Hi Neil, those tech floors really are amazing! I'm a sucker for greebles...


Me too

Originally Posted by SciFibrow: It's encouraging to see a scifi fan getting a chance to flex their muscles at Pixar when the opportunity comes up, working on Wall-E must have been a real treat. Does being into it give you more chance of getting to work on those projects, do they put word out internally for expressions of interest?


Desire to work on a particular film certainly factors in, and I'd say this goes for any company, it's always important to communicate the desire to work on a particular project, after all, supervisors want their team to be excited about the work they're doing, and sups aren't mind readers, so let them know how you feel.

That said, as a professional, there will be times where you need to work on something that doesn't interest you as much, and you need to be able to do the job. Of course, if you find yourself ONLY doing work you don't like, then it's important to speak up or move on, but it's also important to spread the more dull work around so that no one person gets all the cool or all the boring work.

Originally Posted by SciFibrow: Are there any new projects coming up in the genre, if you're allowed to let slip such a morsel?


Hehe, commenting on future projects is a nono, so no comment

Originally Posted by Sandpiper: Your description of your daughter's energy sounds exactly like my daughter's.


Yup, I think they're all sorta similar at this age, at least in terms of energy and curiosity.

Originally Posted by Sandpiper: Thanks again Neil - perhaps in the future, we'll have the pleasure of meeting.


That would be cool, maybe at a Siggraph one of these years.

- Neil
 
  11 November 2011
Originally Posted by Pyke: I know that in your earlier work, music and dreams played a large part (the tapeworm images being inspired by night terrrors, etc).

As you have gotten older, presumably your music tastes, and dreams, have changed.


Good question. The funny thing is, my dreams and music haven't changed much. Maybe that's a sign that I'm not growing as a person But regardless, while I don't have night terrors anymore, I still have pretty consistent nightmares, and I'm still heavily into death metal, and yes, I still do use them as inspiration for my artwork. Although in the past several years, I think my work has shifted a bit away from a "monster" oriented theme and become a little more "landscape" oriented. Maybe that's a sign of a somewhat calmer life.

Originally Posted by LuisDiDonna: For more than ten years the beautiful work of NB has been inspiring to me (back when his webpage was soulborn3d.com, and he was working for Blur Studios)
His tutorials were (are) priceless. And he is a real cool dude, and a very kind man.


Thanks Luis! Ya, I had to migrate away from the soulburn3d.com website shortly after joining Blur. I wanted to place my blur work and the blurscripts on my site, but as Miller pointed out, I didn't do that work at Soulburn Studios, I did it at Blur Studio. So changing my site to my name made more sense, since it could encompass all my projects, personal and otherwise. Although I still keep soulburn3d.com for my email, since it's a bit redundant being neil at neilblevins.com

But anyways, glad you've found my stuff useful for all these years, I actually remember some of your emails from way back when. I still have all of my email from back into the mid 90s.

- Neil
 
  11 November 2011
Originally Posted by 3DMadness: Nice to see you around here Neil! I'm also a fan of your work and your education page from 10+ years, that is also one of the #1 references I show to my students, as you tend to first show how the materials work in real life before going to the 3D.


Thanks Flavio!

Originally Posted by 3DMadness: This is something I want to know for a long time: what do you actually do at Pixar as a TD?


I've done lots of things, from Digimattes to FX to Sets. Mostly now I specialize in Sets, so modeling, shading and painting environments and props.

Originally Posted by 3DMadness: As I've been following your tutorials from a long time, I've seen you starting in Scanline, then doing things in Brazil and in the last tutorials you've been using mental ray. Have you considered updating some of your old tutorials to mental ray?


Well, I still use Brazil for a lot of my personal work, but I do use mentalray now and again if it has a feature that Brazil doesn't have (like pinching lens distortion). Plus I know more people use mentalray than Brazil, so I want the info on my site to be useful to the largest audience possible.

The other thing is that since I've now used a lot of renderers, including prman, I see just how similar all these render engines are. So my goal when writing new tutorials is to start with general info that's platform independent, and then give several examples using several different renderers. Like my Chrome Material tutorial:

http://www.neilblevins.com/cg_educa...rome/chrome.htm

has examples in Brazil and scanline and mentalray.

Anyways, if there's a specific tutorial you'd like to see with mentalray info, let me know through private email and I'll add it to the list.

Originally Posted by 3DMadness: Have you worked with vray? Also, do you still use scanline?


I've worked with vray a tiny bit, it has certainly come a long way since it's first release. And I still use scanline now and again, but it's definately now my #3 renderer for my personal work. It's still good for some stuff that doesn't need lots of bells and whistles, like it'll still render opacity mapped cards or particles way faster than a raytracer will.

- Neil
 
  11 November 2011
My first exposure to Neil's work was a tut he did about SSS. I have since been following his exploits since then (online at least). I thought I read somewhere he was a Pointe-Claire resident at one point, which is where I'm from. It would be fun to know that a 3D celebrity once lived in my neighborhood.
 
  11 November 2011
Just was thinking about Neil Blevins when entering cgtalk, and... he is on the front page! Thank you for all you did for cgtalk and cg-world. You are one of those people who inspire through years. If someone needs to expand his knowledge, just watch Neil's DVD or visit his website, that's how it is.
 
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