All posts in Uncategorized

04 May

Maya FOV to Unity FOV – Camera Matching

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / May 4, 2017 / 0 Comments


So anyone who’s set up a scene in Maya and subsequently imported that scene to Unity has probably discovered two things. One, that Cameras don’t translate over. And two, that Unity uses a completely different field of view, FOV, compared to Maya. The solution? This python script for Maya, which adds a custom channel to the attributes of anything selected and named “camera1.”

Read more →

06 Jan

Solid Angle Sci-Tech Award

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / January 6, 2017 / 0 Comments


The team at Solid Angle received a much deserved scientific and engineering award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. For anyone that hasn’t tried Arnold yet, give it a shot. It’s well worth the money! Just check out this quote from the Academy:

To Marcos Fajardo for the creative vision and original implementation of the Arnold Renderer, and to Chris Kulla, Alan King, Thiago Ize and Clifford Stein for their highly optimized geometry engine and novel ray-tracing algorithms which unify the rendering of curves, surfaces, volumetrics and subsurface scattering as developed at Sony Pictures Imageworks and Solid Angle SL.

05 Jan

ZOIC – Arnold Camera Shader

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / January 5, 2017 / 0 Comments


Zeno Pelgrims has managed to create a physically accurate Arnold Camera Shader that simulates the multiple layers of glass and their effect on lens bokeh and vignetting. It’s only $10 and is getting me much better results than Nuke’s Zdepth node for those really tight macro shots. Yeah, the AA samples required is pretty high, but it’s a smart solution for special cases.

Check out his website for more information on how ZOIC works and how to purchase the lens shader.

29 Sep

4K Tileable Concrete Texture

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / September 29, 2016 / 2 Comments

My new 4K tileable concrete texture (PBR) is now available to purchase from Gumroad. Enjoy!

22 Sep

Arnold Displacement Mapping

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / September 22, 2016 / 0 Comments

The render time went up a shocking 3 minutes per frame (lol) but the results are worth it. 8K resolution displacement maps are easy as cake in Arnold.


07 Aug

Saturday Sizzle

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / August 7, 2016 / 0 Comments

Since I’m making a big batch of Thai Pad See Ew, I found a quick tutorial on how to throw this awesome dish together.

Results to be posted later!

05 Aug

Learning Houdini

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / August 5, 2016 / 0 Comments

So Houdini is blowing my mind. After taking a few training courses at Siggraph 2016, I’m starting to get the hang of how volumes work, as well as the OpenVBD workflow so I can render volume sequences in Maya and Arnold. Here’s two render tests so far. The tough part is adjusting the VolumeCollection node in Maya to get the right look, but like anything it just takes practice.

And a bit of warning, I had to use a volume ray depth of 12 on the clouds. And based off the technical talk on The Good Dinosaur, I may need to go as high as 15. *gulp*

Clouds WIP 01

30 Jun

Overwatch Competitive Play

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / June 30, 2016 / 0 Comments

Great news gaming fans, Overwatch Competitive Play is finally here! Bad news? You have to be Level 25 to unlock. Start grinding!!!

More information can be found here:

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30 Jun

The Art of Finding Dory

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / June 30, 2016 / 0 Comments

My local art boutique Nucleus in Alhambra, CA is hosting an “Art of Finding Dory” event this Saturday, July 2nd from 3~6pm.

Here’s the website for more information:

30 Jun

Classic Star Wars – Coaster Edition

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / June 30, 2016 / 0 Comments

Picked up these bad boys at Frank & Son’s last week. Too bad they only had 4 of a kind. I would bought a dozen if they had more!

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30 Jun

New Community Page

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / June 30, 2016 / 0 Comments

Hey everyone, I’ve decided to create Facebook community page to help connect with other artists who are just as passionate about 3D as me. Check it out:

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27 Jun

V-Ray Fundamentals Volume 1

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / June 27, 2016 / 2 Comments

Over the past three years, V-ray has become an integral part of my 3D workflow. Volume 1 of my online tutorial draws on my numerous commercial jobs. There’s a lot of hidden logic parameters within this rendering program, and I go in depth on how to work with V-ray 3.0’s DMC sampler rather than against it. Time is precious for artists like us, and this course will show you how to render faster AND intuitively reduce noise within your shots.

Watch V-ray Fundamentals: Vol 1

23 Jun

Ktools for Maya

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / June 23, 2016 / 0 Comments

If you’ve ever cursed and screamed at Maya’s limited boolean options, I recommend giving Ktools a shot. The plugin is pretty cheap at just $10, and has helped my modeling considerably.

Here’s the link:

And this is what the toolbar looks like:

KTool Example

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23 Jun

Substance – Stone Wall Cladding

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / June 23, 2016 / 0 Comments

I published a new material on the Substance Share platform, and have made it available through here as well. It’s a Stone Wall Cladding with a smooth surface and speckles of dark orange. Came in useful for my current architecture job since I couldn’t find anything comparable on the internet.

Here’s the link.
Substance Designer File - Stone Wall Cladding (415 downloads)

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20 Jun

Substance Designer – My First (Good) Material

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / June 20, 2016 / 0 Comments

Hey everyone,

I finally hunkered down and spent most of last week learning Substance Designer. I got started off doing a basic concrete and finished the week with a detailed floor tile texture, complete with raised grout and some dirt collecting in the tile crevices. The file size of 90 KB is absolutely shocking, and I love how easy it is to adjust and iterate. There’s still a long road ahead, but I’m glad to share the actual Substance Designer file below.

Substance Designer - Floor Tiles SBS File (564 downloads)


Substance Designer Floor Tiles GRAPH - John Draisey

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09 Apr

Charcoal Editor

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / April 9, 2016 / 0 Comments

If you’re looking to taking your scripting in Maya to the next level and hate using external IDEs for MEL or Python, get Charcoal Editor. It shows your current scripts with an Outliner View, shows your project folder, has autocomplete functions and lets you compare and write two scripts side by side.

Buy it!

Charcoal Editor Example John Draisey 3D Artist

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24 Feb

Maya 2012 – Mental Ray Render Cores 50% Usage

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / February 24, 2016 / 0 Comments

Hey everyone,

So at work today, I came across an issue with Maya 2012’s Mental Ray renderer. Scenes had fairly low settings and rendered quickly in the Maya frame buffer, but were rendering SLOW at batch render time. In fact, only 8 out of 16 threads (or less) were being utilized.

As it turns out, the Mental Ray Batch Render Option screen has a refresh issue. Watch your PC Task Manager “Performance” tab carefully. If Mental Ray isn’t using every core at close to 100% capacity, unselect Auto Render Threads and manually type in the number of render threads. I also recommend turning Auto Tiling off and changing the task size to 16 (i.e. 16×16 pixel buckets). Your render times should go down significantly.

Be aware that occasionally Mental Ray will ignore your manually entered values. Just delete them and retype the values, then press Enter. Should work like a charm. I typically click on “Batch Render” from the option menu rather than “Batch Render and Close” just to be safe.

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23 Feb

Illustrator 8 Files Not Importing into Maya

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / February 23, 2016 / 0 Comments

I ran into this issue while modeling a city using Adobe Illustrator so that the vector paths could be extruded in Maya. The error was pretty simple, but I spent a while troubleshooting the issue. As it turns out, Maya cannot import an AI file if even one vector path (i.e. building shape) is Open rather than Closed.

So how do you check your building outlines for Open paths? Here’s how to do it:

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21 Feb

Weekend Photography

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / February 21, 2016 / 0 Comments

Here’s a few photographs I took this weekend.

Hummingbird Arboretum Imagegram

Peacock Starry Night Imagegram

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15 Jan

Earthquake – Making Of

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / January 15, 2016 / 0 Comments

So I found a cool character model that was included with Zbrush 4R7, and decided to have some fun with it in Arnold. I used a city image off the internet and fixed it in Photoshop by adding lens distortion and painting a custom depth map to achieve more accurate lens blur. Then I switched focus to the raw EXR render of the character and did some painting and lighting adjustments in Photoshop.

Earthquake - Lighting Setup

Earthquake - Raw Render

City Night

John Draisey - Earthquake Zbrush Model

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10 Jan

The AMAZING Arnold Render View

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / January 10, 2016 / 0 Comments

Watch this video all the way to the end. There’s a special feature called Isolate Selected that will change your life if you’re a Lighter, Shader, or Lookdev artist. Also, special thanks to Solid Angle’s CEO, Marcos Fajardo, for helping me out this weekend.

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31 Dec

Up House – WIP

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / December 31, 2015 / 0 Comments

I’ve been working on the house from Pixar’s movie “Up”. It has been pretty fun building the house in Maya one wood panel at a time. Plus its given me an excuse to keep watching the movie for “reference.” Substance Painter should come in pretty handy once I wrap up the modeling portion.

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29 Dec

Getting My Feet Wet in Python

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / December 29, 2015 / 0 Comments

I finally began learning Python for Maya, and I seriously can’t believe I didn’t jump into it sooner. It’s much easier to understand than MEL and I’m looking forward to posting my first script tomorrow. There’s a big list of tasks I perform when creating new scenes, like cameras, lights, reference for scale, and even specific render settings in Arnold. So my “New Scene Plus” script should prove to be a big time saver. =]

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23 Dec

Zync Cloud Rendering

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / December 23, 2015 / 0 Comments

If you haven’t used Zync already and are in need of a easy, reliable online Cloud Render Farm, definitely check it out. It’s hosted by Google and so far my cost has been roughly $3 to $4 a frame for heavy duty 1080p frames. Pretty cheap all things considered, and it supports Maya Arnold, Maya V-ray and even Nuke. Which is perfect for doing CG product renders on a limited budget.

I ran into an installation issue but their support team and I quickly worked it out. Best of all, my workaround is going into the official documentation. =]

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23 Dec

Volvo Commercial

In Uncategorized by John Draisey / December 23, 2015 / 0 Comments

I’m proud to have been a part of the team that did the CG work on this commercial. Learned a lot from my supervisor and had a lot of fun. Especially on the weekends when the office was super quiet.Volvo Concept

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