The Journey Begins Challenge (3D) Entry: Eric Machmer


I, too, thank your multi-lingual thanks was perfect. Fit your scene so well. I would just die to see this animated. I can just imagine this mass of pink chaos flying through the air at sunset, lit by lucky turtle lamps. So pink, so cute.

I look forward to you working out the public licensing. I look forward to coming up with something for those cute little guys. :wink:

Did you see that wiki marked the cgsociety entry as needing a rewrite for being too much of an advertisement? :scream: Thought that was a hoot.


Hey Eric!

Just got back from a few days away doing absolutely nothing -even rediscovered whats its like to have a social life! I hope youve been having a simliarly relaxing time since the challenge! I absolutely love your final image! I wasnt expecting the new format and bg -but i really think it works and was a very bold move on your part which totally paid off! I sooo hope this work gets placed for its ingenuity -and being conceptually so strong -and just looking very lovely! Theres nothing quite like it! Good luck my friend and i cant wait to see you next challenge around!


Hey you two! You’re the best! Gosh if you were the only persons visiting this thread I would still be thrilled – it’s been cool to hangout with such encouraging tasteful artists!

Hopefully the idea of publicly licensing Maya authoring files doesn’t sound too strange or uptight. I just hope over time we could create a genre of quality work which would be shared among artists with similar aesthetics while still retaining some of the responsibilities of ownership. The idea first came to me when Lee posted shots of his Warpig ( I thought it was so cool I wanted to make a 2D logo of it for use on the back of Bob’s protective padding, or the side of his helmet, or I was even going to make a black biker’s jacket for him to especially show of such a cool image. The idea would be to both advertise Lee’s cool work while allowing Bob to pick up some additional coolness (Barb is way cooler than Bob…I think she’s on the verge of dumping him but that is a long story). Unfortunately I don’t know Lee at all (and given that Warpig is exceptionally cool he may be concerned about overexposure), so, I didn’t follow through on this idea…

There are a myriad of potential drawbacks to “copyleft” artwork: use of important brand characters in low quality works, overexposure, incorporation into politically offensive or trivial works, and so on. But the plus is reenforcing those artists and cultural trends we appreciate. For example, if Dr. Suess released the hat of the Cat-in-the-Hat then ideally other characters could wear it while perhaps discussing their favorite Suessian friends…building a larger meta-world of cool positive works and in effect creating a critical dialogue between the philosophical perspectives informing important cultural icons. If the aesthetic look of the released material were strong enough it might also serve to foster a “farm-team” of artists familiar with and capable of creating such material in a formal studio production team. Anyhow, this is just a thought. I’ll post huge .psd and .tiff wallpaper files ASAP…it just takes 30 minutes to open the file and I’m 100% off coffee now so naps and a mind-crushing lethargy have begun interfering with my ability to accomplish a single useful thing, especially within the time frame of thirty minutes. As a matter of fact, it is possibly time for an emergency nap now.

Thanks MT Cup and Selina for your always encouraging good faith and words! Hope you are enjoying downtime between Challenges – MT Cup we’ll see something from you in the next one, right? Glad you were able to get away for a while Selina – I’m planning an escape a few weeks from now but at the moment caffeine-free naps are sheer heaven.

(Notice you both have Portfolios now so I just added you two as favorites! Whoowhoo!)



Wow!! I love the cockpit detail!! Really great image!! A lot of fun characters! :applause:



Thought provoking. Interesting thread. Good luck. :bounce::bounce:


I’ll make the attempt. If not 3d, then maybe at least 2d. We’ll see how confident I am in my modeling skills by then. :wink:


Whoowhoo! 2D would be great! There are so many talented artists in the 2D Challenges…it would be fun getting to know them better if you were also there (to check out the competition). And, a 2D Challenge entry can always be turned into a future 3D work for yourself or clients…sort of like a 2 for 1 deal. (They also seem a heck of a lot faster to complete than 3D…I was shocked to notice so many 2D artists thought nothing of reworking their entire concepts several times over…in fact, that seems to be the norm?)

What are you working on now? I really don’t know my way around these forums very well yet (focused almost exclusively on these Challenge pages virtually right after having discovered CGSociety).

(The full res .tiff and Maya authoring files will be up soon…I’ve just been super busy and cringed when thinking of opening Maya after having spent 3 months in front of it…needed a week off.)



Thanks Carlos! Very glad you like it. Enjoyed corresponding this Challenge, see you at the next!

Thanks vladskol! Hope it was worthwhile reading. Certainly was a lot of fun writing!



Hi, here’s the final full res (massive) image as submitted in .tif format…along with both the Maya ASCI authoring file used to create various butterfly poses, and, the extracted poses collected in separate layers within a .psd file.

      The legal authority of 'Copyleft' is still unclear, so, this material is still copyrighted.  It would be great to encourage sharing of authoring files for Challenge and even Gallery submissions as a fantastic learning opportunity available through this community.  
      Also, we could also reenforce over time a Copyleft genre of works which would allow cameo appearances of characters for independent workflows and promotion.   For instance, if Blur Studios were to release a rigged Max file of their Aunt Luisa character they could encourage students to learn Max while animating with their rig setup, and, they could benifit from free additional promotion of such a cool well-developed character through the independent works created by persons who need an "old crazy grandma character" for a quick cameo appearance.  
      Anyhow, that's just the basic idea right now...more thought needs to be given to the development of such a cameo copyright.  Hope these files are marginally interesting or worthwhile to someone.  --Wish the Maya file were Aunt Luisa but it is just a butterfly (oh, but the bump map for its wings is extremely effective...really got lucky with it...if you need a finely textured butterfly wing it would work well).  Enjoy!
      Please don't abuse Rumi (all of the butterflies insist upon being called 'Rumi' since none are willing to ceed to any of the others the name "Rumi"...adopted out of affection for their friend the 13th century Persian poet, jurist, theologian and teacher of Sufism Mawlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmi.  Generally they would prefer not to do anything a Talmudic scholar whose native language is Sanskrit would not be caught doing -- unless it is outrageous and fun!!
      : )

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License:


I’m downloading!

It’s a really beutiful graphic design art! :applause:

Ps.: wainting for more works of you, Eric. :thumbsup:



Oi Carlos! Obrigado! Thanks for stopping by…hope you like the high res image. (It is meant to be printed at about 25% of full resolution. As always there are numerous flaws which I hope to correct soon.)

Really like your website – especially the new logo!

Looking forward to hanging out again in the next challenge!



Downloaded. Now the fun starts.


I’m not familliar with “copyleft” but from what I’ve heard, it sounds a lot like Creative Commons where the creator retains the copyright and can use it for any commercial use he/she wants, but anybody else can use it for non-commercial projects.


Clever icon Adrienne…different than the defaults available, so, I went to the source you used and saw this, another funny one:

“Looking forward” to seeing your work in the next 2D Challenge too! (Actually can’t think of better hands in which to entrust the Wild Wise ones.) --Have to use that telescope eyball trick in an animation sometime. Hope you like the download…there are a lot of things I’d like to improve in the image of course…and the Maya file is far cry from a sophisticated extended animation…hope it doesn’t disapoint too much.



Hey Matt! Yes!!! Creative Commons does the trick! Perfect! I re-edited the post to include a copyright for Creative Commons. I’m really not uptight about these images, or whatever, but my hope is to over time encourage CGSociety members to post elements of their pieces for others in the community to learn from and use. It would be a postive development (in my opinion) if this community were known as a place from which tutorial authoring files could be obtained, particularly throughout the course of a Challenge (not just at the end) and as a special download link accompanying portfolio images. Protected, perhaps, under a Creative Commons license, or even a licensing program which could evolve over time through participation of commercial artists and studios in this community – here at CGSociety. It would be great if articles covering the latest Pixar film, or profiling a new artist, were to include authoring files for interesting elements within a scene. Say, for example, rigs used for Mr. Incredible, texturing files for Nemo, or expansive sets of the desert scenes from Cars. That would not only be a cool nod to the creative community from which such studios draw moral support and inspiration – it would introduce numerous artists to workflows and techniques actually used in real studio pipelines. Kind of a hip way to create a farm team. --And, all the work would be licensed, so, the studios could not only hire an artist who had improved upon a scene or character – they could immediately use the improved next-generation of their files.

Mini-Challenges could be built around scenes taken directly from movies…and then, after the contest, the modified files could actually be reused in future movies. I’m new to this community, but, it seems as if many of the Mini-Challenges involve persons downloading a generic file which everyone then competes with one another to animate, illuminate, or modify in some manner. Rather than a generic file, an artist or a studio could submit an actual professionally contructed set of files used in a full feature animation. At the end of the contest, under a Creative Commons license (from what I understand), the studio or artist which created the original files could then freely use the modified files in a sequel or future endeavor. Perhaps further modification of a Creative Commons license may be necessary to ensure original authors do not need permission to use future iterations of their work, but, that could be ironed out in the process of encouraging such a system of file sharing.

Just an idea. Thanks for pointing out Creative Commons – they seem infinitely more sophisticated than the Copyleft bunch.



Hey All, it’s cool many entrants develop long-term projects over the course of several challenges. If time is available it would be great to create more material which could be rolled into a longer-term animation project. So, there will be a Beesa related site at this url which will hopefully develop over the course of several more challenges: was already taken; likewise for derivatives. So, the (vain) idea now is
to create a website associated with BEESA but, literally, named Whoohoo University…which sounds fruity but will be a fun site for children, serving as a clearning house for all things BEESA. Whoohoo University will teach life-skills and coping techniques for dealing with such things as peer pressure, life’s ups and downs, and other uplifting stuff. At least that’s the working idea.

More interesting is the generic template for the Flash website used by and Neither site is finished but the generic template is live on WhoohooU. In case anyone would like to work with (and hopefully) improve this generic Flash template it is available for download under a Creative Commons license here:

Hopefully a group of Flash artists could contribute to the development of a Maya-like Hotbox web interface (as used on both and In two or three weeks I’ll post more about this idea (and better documentation) but I’m going on vacation now…could be cool though to reenforce the use and acceptance of a menu interface many of us have come to appreciate daily.

Also, the Wikipedia links above aren’t working because Wikipedia administrators thought the entries I made for the CGSociety read too much like advertisements (they were unfamiliar with this community and the impact it has had upon computer arts). Such an undertaking will require a concerted effort by members of the Society, although it is probably not very important in the scheme of things. Perhaps we could do this over the course of the next Challenge. The most important improvement which should be made to the pages I tried to post would probably be internal Wikipedia links to other entries associated with animation, cg artists who have matured in the community, and other such supportive references. This was my first attempt at writing Wikipedia pages. The good news is links to the CG Society’s Challenge Intro page have remained intact on the Wikipedia entries for Autdesk and Maya. A humble start…

Anyhow, off to feed mosquitoes for two weeks in Alaska…cheers!


Hey, if anyone is attending Siggraph and would like to volunteer for Autodesk in exchange for free entry to the Maya and Max Masters Classes send me an email at

For each class you work (by taking tickets at the door) you would be able to sit in on another class for free. (If you are taking tickets at the door of a classroom you are typically able to step inside the doors at the start of a class so not much is missed either way.) If you work extra classes and help with the Autodesk User Group Meeting/Party you will be given a few Learning Tools DVDs.

Hope (a few) people are interested. --I’m on vacation for a few weeks so if you don’t receive a response after a few days don’t worry…but send another email if a week or two pass without a reply, just to ensure your email hasn’t been lost.

If you are a student generally the formal papers and panels at Siggraph are virtually useless, given their typically sophisitcated technical nature and such. Much more useful to first time Siggraph attendees would be orientation to the 3D world by just exploring the applicaitons and hardware on display in the Expo area – and then, perhaps, attending a few Masters Classes. (In this case for free.) --Just my 2 cents on the “value of Siggraph” conversation started earlier.

If you are volunteering for Siggraph itself volunteering for Autodesk would be a separate responsibility but would not interfere with your Siggraph time schedule.

Finally – please include a list of the Masters Classes for which you would most like to work/attend. The current list of classes can be found on



When I first met you I never realized you were a genius Eric! :D;)

I am so happy that you sent me the link to this Challenge thread, because I would not have found it otherwise. I have been away from the CGSociety for quite some time and totally forgot about it - even though I was part of the very first challenge. It’s great to see how it had evolved.

Quickly flying through the many wonderful posts on your thread, it’s evident that you have generated a following. Include me in the list of fans! The final image is stunning and the backstory is brilliant. I finally get to read some of your writing! I am so glad that you entered this challenge - your creativity, talents and positivity are beyond fantastic!

Although SIGGRAPH 2006 will be beyond my reach, 2007 may be a possibility.

All the best…


Whoohoo!! Great to see your post here Hank – what a surprise! Shezz, I didn’t know you were already a member! (Should have guessed.) Hope in the meantime to “see you around” during the next challenge, if possible. Would be great to see your talents up in either 2D or 3D!

Looking forward to catching up at Siggraph 2007 then…if not during the next Challenge…prizes have become much more worhwhile now. : )

Cheers man, best to George and Jen!


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