Friday, December 18, 2009

My Digital Drawing Technique

This is how I tend to do my digital drawing in Painter.  It’s pretty much exactly like I would do with paper and charcoal, but I have UNDO!!  Anyways, this drawing isn’t finished.  I got to figure drawing late, so I was limited, and just like any lazy artist, I wait for the face, hair, and the hands until last.  I guess that’s why they are almost never there.  Anyways, here are the steps I go through:

1. First, I block out the forms and make sure my proportions are correct:

2. I create a second layer and keep “pick up underlying color” checked, then first wipe out the image using a blender brush, then lay down lines for form:

3. After that, I start another layer, and wipe the lines down so that they are not so harsh:

4. Once I have that done, I begin blocking in my light and shadow, and tightening up the edges a bit in places.  I like to have some tight edges and some soft:

5. In my last step, I now go through each part, tightening the drawing, adding shadows, core shadows, highlights, etc. :

So like I said, I didn’t finish this drawing, but I think it is a good example of how I work digitally.  Hopefully next time I’ll actually finish it.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Great Marcelo Vignali Interview

Thanks for the suggestion from my colleague Sam Nielson -

For those of you who don't know him, Marcelo Vignali is an amazing artist working at Sony Animation Studios. In this interview, he gives so much good information about being an artist in the industry today, it's hard to summarize. It's a good hour long discussion, but it's amazing to hear his thoughts on being and becoming an artist in this industry. I would recommend everyone watch it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mirroring Shape Keys in Softimage

I have been trying t0 figure out why so many 3D packages refuse to make tools that are easy and intuitive. Continued searching has just proven to me that most packages try to do the same things as the others, just in a different, but still overly difficult, way. So I moved one of my personal projects from Maya into Softimage. Making new morphs was a painful process in Maya, and I know that rigging is a lot better in XSI, so I thought I would give it a shot. So I started making shapes, and wanted to figure out a way to mirror them easily. So I went out on the net looking for some tutorials. The only ones I really found were using GATOR. Not a very easy thing to do. So I read about using weight maps to do the mirroring. Not very much info. so after testing and trying and reading and watching, I tried to put it all together and finally figured it out. This method may be widely known, but unfortunately, there's very little demonstration or documentation on it, so I thought I would do that so others don't have to go through what I did. Once you have the weight maps made, Softimage actually makes it really nice and easy to separate your symmetrical shapes. Here's a quick demo of how it works:

Monday, November 09, 2009

Digital Drawings

Here are a few digital sketches from our Friday figure drawing sessions. They were just studies, as I was trying to feel more comfortable with a stylus and tablet while sketching...

Monday, November 02, 2009

Updated Demo Reel - 2009

Here's my newest demo reel. It includes a lot of stuff that I have previously posted on it's own...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My First Foray Into MEL

Cool, but not the most fun thing in the world.

Biped Auto Rigger...Not finished yet. It's still missing a lot of stuff. It's just an IK spine with no facial rig, no stretchy limbs, etc. I'll have to keep going on it.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Making Hair with ZSpheres

So I was looking around and I saw some guy who did all of his hair on his models with zspheres, so I thought I would try it too. Turns out it works REALLY well. This was just a test, so it's not a final sculpt. Just messing around, but really cool nonetheless. The head is a standard preset from Modo, but all of the hair is from ZSpheres.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Low Poly Arm Tutorial

Here is a two part time lapse video where I build a low-poly arm in Maya. I used Maya and Go Tools for the modeling.

Part 1

Part 2

Friday, August 21, 2009

2009 Figure Drawings

So I finally got around to taking pictures of my figure drawings. Click on the slideshow to go the album for hi-res images.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Some thoughts on workflow...

I'm one of those artists who is rarely satisfied with the tools at my disposal. Even with the advent of ZBrush, Mudbox, Modo, etc., I still find myself wondering why the software designers created the workflow the way they did. Yes, anyone can get very comfortable in any package, but it usually takes years of practive and customization before that happens. It is rare that a piece of software is so straightforward right out of the box.

One of my biggest pet peves (sp?) is a software package that has features that seem to never end, and yet those features are so hard to get to and use, that it almost negates the fact that they are there in the first place. Years ago, I was hired at Avalanche Software in Salt Lake City (I still work for them, but we are now Disney Interactive Salt Lake). We were using a piece of software at the time called Hash's Animation:Master. I had never seen it before. I had been studying at BYU in the animation department, barely making it through creating characters out of NURBS primitives, and hated every second of it (Nurbs, that is). Now I understand that they have been made easier to work with in some packages, but still, back then, it was a total pain. You could not do what you wanted without it being a total paiin. When I began in Animation:Master, I found something different: that the feature set wasn't huge, and the paradigm was different (using b-splines vs. polys or Nurbs), but I found that authoring what I wanted to was an absolute breeze. Things like bones didn't have joint orients. Assigning a mesh to a skeleton was a manual, but an easy and simple process. Rigging was a joy compared to what I was used to. It had almost every tool that I needed to use, and it was EASY to understand and implement all of them. Different, but when easy is the different part, I willing o go for that. I loved it.

They had a dirty little secret: make tools easy to use and understand, and the artists is empowered. Such was the way that you could correct a mesh's deformation when it was animated. Who would have thought - just pose the character, sculpt the mesh, and have the character remember what it looked like at that point! Truly amazing. So simple, yet almost all software packages today that are so much more "robust" fail to realize that. They take pride in how "deep" their feature set is. What I see is painful authoring. Even though I CAN do it, I have to do it an inefficient and difficult way. the result is the same, but I have lost valuable time I could be spending on other things. I have much more important things to to than make corrective blend shapes, influence objects, etc. I want to animate. This is where Hash came in. If more packages would implement things like these two videos I made, artists would go nuts. The power that comes with correct authoring methods cannot be overstated.

The first video shows "Smart Skinning". Move an object, fix anything that needs to be fixed, and it remembers. The second shows how I create a facial animation slider, blending skeletal animation and a corrective shape in one step, and one simple to use interface. Now remember, the tools are pretty rudimentary, but the implementation is genius. No wonder I continue to compare Maya and Softimage to A:M. It was one of the most genius packages ever.

Ahhhh. Those were the days.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

ZBrush Mouth Sculpt

Here was a 13 minute sculpt I did in ZBrush. Man, I love sculpting in it, but I still can't STAND the interface. I did a lot of the sculpting with the DamStandard Brush, that you can download from Pixologic's Homeroom website. Here is the direct link. The brush was created by Damien Canderle, whose website is

Thursday, June 04, 2009

New and Improved!

So, I made some adjustments that I think make a big difference. Looks more like what I had in mind...a 7 year old kid. Now for the hair...Stay tuned.

New Character Progress

So I started on a new character, and to break out of the mold, I went really cartoony. I need to break out of my box from time to time. After seeing Up, I thought I would give the look a shot. While this is a far cry from it, it's definitely closer than previous stuff. This is all about 2 hours of work. I started from a box and wend from there. I'm not normally a box modeler, but I really wanted a smooth surface that comes from "Catmull-Clarking" a box down. it's actually pretty easy. I would never do it for a complicated character, but for something like this, it worked great. The top montage is just a few morphs that I was experimenting with. This was all done in Modo 302...gotta love Modo!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Mr. SphereHead

Man, it's been too long since I posted. I need to get back on the horse and get some stuff up here. Dave Malan is putting me to shame. I really have loved getting back to more realistic stuff, albeit a little twisted version. I'm really trying to break out of the mold I'm made from - very academic. So the other night I was staring at Mel Milton's blog and got really fired up to go really stylized. This ZBrush head is NOT stylized like I'm talking about, but my next one will be, so stay tuned. And Mel, thanks for the inspiration! Truly amazing stuff!

Friday, April 03, 2009


So Here is another model I did in Silo.  I really liked the tools.  I thought I would do a study of edge loops, so I can really get in the habit of doing them right.  I also made this head as a generic game model so I can push/pull it into any desigh I want.  

Good Edgeloops = Flexibility

Thursday, April 02, 2009

First Silo Model

So I'm starting to learn Silo ( and so far I am really liking it.  It just seems that it was MEANT to be a modeler (it was!) whereas other software feels like all the tools are there for modeling, but they are tucked away in some hard to reach place.  

So I modeled a cartoon hand, and thought I would record the process for posterity's sake (or more likely just mine).  Turned out pretty good, but this was an experiment, so there's a lot of mistakes and backtracking in it.  But I like to see that happen in a video so that I can understand what happened, and what went wrong.  Hope you like it.  The first video is 3x and the second is 4x.

Modeling a Cartoon Hand in Silo - Part 1 from Barry Zundel on Vimeo.

Modeling A Cartoon Hand in Silo - Part 2 from Barry Zundel on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Old Game Art

These are a **few** characters from games I was the character lead for - Chicken Little, and Meet the Robinsons.  Old, low-poly characters are always fun to look at..  I did the modeling, UV mapping, and rigging.  Some rough textures too, but in the end, our texturing team did the final paint job.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Current Demo Reel

So after 8 years of working, I realized that I didn't really have anything to show, because I had never made a demo reel. Most of what I have done for the past 8 years didn't make it, but I used a few personal things and such, and put together a reel. More for myself than anything else. It made me realize that I have a lot to do and a long way to go.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Death Vegas is Live!

Well, it went live a few weeks ago. But I did all the character modeling and rigging. It was a really fun project to work on and especially to work with such great talent as Scott Stoddard, Adam Ford, Ethan Halvorsen, and Melissa Halvorsen. They are a great team with amazing talents and capabilities.