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Me: Eric Keller

Hi and welcome to my Blog. This is a hastily compiled record of my digital art and computer graphics experiments. I am a freelance CG artist living and working in Hollywood CA. I have written several books on Maya and ZBrush. Below my blog you'll find links to the books and tutorials I have authored and co-authored. I also occasionally teach at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood. Soon I will get around to posting my demo reel and resume. I named my blog "Bloopatone" in honor of my first dog "Blue". She passed away a few years ago and I still miss her even though she was very grouchy and liked to bite me!

I'm proud to be an instructor at The Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood. Take a look at the work of our students and instructors on the Gnomon School Blog and the Gnomon Workshop Blog

Here is a link to my Demo Reel:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Life on Earth preview

Digizyme, the company I proudly work for, has posted some nice videos showing off the interactive life science widgets we created for E O Wilson's Life on Earth iBook. One of my favorites was this interactive comparison of hominid skulls and faces. I got to experiment with animated vector displacement maps. Models created in ZBrush and then animated and rendered in Maya/mental ray. it was quite a rig! Check out the webpage for more demos:



I alos love the 3D planaria, I used some of the Keyshot VR tools to create this:




In the end there are around 500 images, interactives and animations in the book, what we've shown on the website is just a small sample. And its all free for both Apple iPad and Apple desktop editions of iBooks!!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Coming Soon... Entomology Animated!

Working on  a new personal project which I'm calling "Entomology Animated". Since Nature seems to be a few thousand times more interesting than anything I can dream up I am taking a break from fictionalized insects of my own design and instead I am exploring research on real live existing insects and arthropods and focusing my artistic endeavors on that. I give up nature... you win!

Entomology Animated will be a series of animations that explore the weird world of insect physiology and behavior (and I have some spiders, millipedes and other non-insect arthropods I'd like to include as well so I'm using the broad definition of "Entomology" and not the more specific definition which is restricted to insects... kind of like when a "Classical" music station plays Bach which is technically Baroque and not Classical... ok that was a tangent...).

I am striving towards accuracy (but I'm not a trained entomologist, I'm really an entomophile) in all that I present whether its on entomology or evolutionary biology. The videos will be online, free to watch for everyone. Its my hope that this series will help inject accurate science back into the internet and help spread the joy and love of all insects (except roaches, I will never get on board with them...)

But there is much work to be done. The first episode will be on Solenopsis invicta (AKA Red Imported Fire Ant, AKA Solenopsis wagneri for you old school types). I just revised the model that I had started a couple years ago.  I improved the geometry, textures, and shaders. I want to think Seth Burgess (https://plus.google.com/+SethBurgess/posts) for his help and advice on improving the anatomy, my post petiole was a mess, its looking better now I think. Seth was even kind enough to take some amazing photos and send them to me which I used extensively for reference. Can't thank you enough Seth!




These are some test renders of the revised model (I apologize if they are grainy, these are not production render settings, just a test setting). Rendered in mental ray for Maya 2015, only photoshop work was a levels adjustment and the addition of the logos. Enjoy!

Now I have to rig this little lady...


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Digizyme Demo Reel

 http://www.digizyme.com/reel.html



Digizyme, the company I am proud to work for, has posted its demo reel as well as a redesigned webiste. Check it out:

http://www.digizyme.com/

http://www.digizyme.com/demoReel_general.html


Barfly

Stuck in Legal Seafood at Logan Airport because I missed my plane. Pulled out the lap top and zbrushed a barfly. Great way to make 4 hours dissapear. Did not use reference on this, juts kind of a doodle so I probably made a few mistakes with the anatomy.


Monday, June 30, 2014

E O Wilson's Life On Earth available for iPad

Very pleased to announce that all 7 volumes of Edward O. Wilson (official)'s Life on Earth has been released on iTunes for iBooks on the iPad and on Mac desktops. I spent the last two years working on this project which is a complete rewriting of High school and undergraduate biology led by the greatest biologist and naturalist of our time. I created at least 30 animations, 3D figures, and interactives for this project and it has been the most rewarding experience of my career. I'm extremely proud of this work. I feel like I have made a significant contribution to science education that will change the way students see the world in which they live. And the best part? Its' 100% free to download and use!!!! Check out the webpage:
http://eowilsonfoundation.org/e-o-wilson-s-life-on-earth/


Here is a nice trailer that gives a taste of the project:


For this project I used a lot of ZBrush and Maya. I also incorporated Luxion's Keyshot into both still images and interactive 3D models for anatomical reveals of many cool organisms. Luxology Modo was also used extensively. The animations were created by both Digizyme (the company I work for) and famous molecular animator Drew Berry.  The team I worked with is amazing group of women and men each with their own particular specialty. It was such a fun and exciting project I'm sad its over but we have some really really cool stuff in the works.

Here is a link to the book on iTunes. The book is readable in iBooks which can be run on both the iPad and Desktop/Laptops. iBooks is free from Apple.

http://search.itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZContentLink.woa/wa/link?path=lifeonearth

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Conicera Tibialis AKA The Coffin Fly

New model I just started with some help from friends at LA Natural History Museum. This is another personal project for fun but this time I'm very lucky to have help from knowledgeable entomologists. I have some cool plans for this model. Creepy little bugger, known for laying eggs in the decaying human remains within coffins. This is a male so far although I have not worked on the genitalia yet so technically its neutered. I'll do a female version as well I think. Just started this so many parts have yet to be modeled.






Friday, May 2, 2014

Niche: Experiments in Speculative Entomological Animations

I've updated my short film "Niche" with a new sequence depicting the Cactus Wasp. This is the model I created for my "Hyper-realistic Insect Modeling" lecture I made for the Gnomon workshop. I rebuilt the wings for this sequence, they were too flat in the previous version.



Here are a few still frames that I thought came out kinda nice...