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:

Niche: Experiments in Speculative Entomologial Animations from Eric Keller on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Peacock Jumping Spider Test

Been working on this for a while now, finally starting to come together (although not perfect by a long shot). This is YET ANOTHER animation and render study. This time using my Peacock Jumping Spider model. Modeled in ZBrush. Textured in ZBrush, Mari, Photoshop. Rigged and Animated in Maya. Rendered in mental ray for Maya (using Maya fur and Paint Effects for the hair). Comped in Nuke.

 After finishing this I realize the dance moves are still too conservative. In reality jumping spider are CRAZY! Next version will have sound and more outrageous moves plus a female for the audience. And I'll add the little silk safety line these spiders usually deploy before jumping. Overall I am pleased considering the many issues I had. Originally I det up an entire animation in Modo, fur and all, but it was a disaster. Modo animation tools are just not ready for prime time in my opinion.


Peacock Jumping Spider Animation Study from Eric Keller on Vimeo.

So the critter in this animation is not at all made up, and the real thing is even weirder than what I've shown. The photographer Jurgen Otto has been making movies of these guys and posting them to You Tube. This has been a big part of the reference I used. Here's a link to one of the movies but there are loads of them up there!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Coffin Fly Revisions

I'm revising my Coffin Fly (Conicera tibialis) model after recieving some helpful feedback from Brian Brown at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. I like this version much better already although the big revisions whihc concern the body and the wings, are still in porgress. This is modeled in ZBrush and  rendered in Octane for Maya. Octane is just awesome all around. It does not support Maya Fur but it does support Maya Hair and Paint Effects. In fact I used Paint Effects for the fur on this dude and I did not even have to convert it to polygons, simply added an Octane Material to the brush node! looks great and renders fast!

I'm working towards accuracy in the model, still unsure about a few things but I have a decent stereoscopic microscope next to my computer and a specimen that Brian Brown lent me.

... My other machine is rendering a spider animation of course...

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Peacock Jumper Test renders

Here are a few stills from an animation I am currently working on. My buddy here is all rigged up, furry and ready to dance. These renders are created in Maya 2014 using mental ray. Models created in ZBrush. Just a little color tweaking in Photoshop. Can't wait to render an animation but I reckon its going to take a while to cook...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

3D Artists short tutorial

I have another short tutorial published in the latest issue of 3D Artist magazine as part of their four elements special. I did a "wind" tutorial using Paint Effects and Nucleus.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Peacock Jumper

Playing around with this peacock jumping spider model in ZBrush + Keyshot. Needs a bit of work still but he's looking pretty cute.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

E O Wilson on the meaning of human existence

Since I first starting reading E O Wilson a few years ago he has changed the way I think and the meaning of my artwork (ants!).  The world's most famous entomologist is my favorite philosopher.