Utopia Demo

I had the honor of giving a demo at University of South Florida St. Petersburg at the beginning of the year. This is one of the demos I made that weekend. Had a fabulous time with the students.

During the long weekend I spent a couple hours touching it up. I have a FREE version of the demo here: https://ericbouffard.artstation.com/store/JXpy/kitbash-demo


Big thanks to John Stanko for asking me down to give the lectures and demo.  Hope you enjoy the image.

Redshift and Octane Tutorials

I love to watch tutorials on other artists workflows and tools. You never know what little kernel of awesomeness you’ll unravel. This rainy weekend I was trying out some of Jama Jurabaev’s tutorials and Steven Cormann’s new tutorial. Both artists are amazing and seeing their process unfold is a delight.

Jama’s tutorial is on gumroad (he has a bunch). But the ones I took an interest in are using Octane renderer and Blender.

To contrast that, Steven Cormann has just released his tutorial, Epic Matte Shot. He is using Redshift as his renderer. He does a great job breaking down his workflow.

If you get a chance take a look at both artists tutorials and their work. You will not be disappointed.

SpeedTree Wind and FBX into Maya

Going back to Speedtree with one of the generic trees I made, I wanted to try exporting out tree animation using the Wind parameter. It’s pretty simple for the most part.


Click the “Wind Properties” button. This will open the editable attributes for the wind.

Click “enable” which will turn on the default settings. You will see the fan icon on the top right of your display window be on (vs. greyed out). You can change the direction and angle. Continue reading “SpeedTree Wind and FBX into Maya”

SpeedTree, Part 4 -odd and ends

Just a few little notes here. When outputting your mesh and materials, SpeedTree gives us a host of different methods and modes to output. Before you do that. You can select each component your will export and tweak it’s poly count by adjusting the “multiplier” node under the “LOD” tab. Most start out at a 1 but you can increase or decrease the poly count based on your need. Above your object you can see the quad count change.


If we up the Multiplier to 2. Now you can see we significantly up this branches resolution.


This can be done on all the various nodes you’ve added to your plant life. So you can quickly introduce levels of detail with this. Continue reading “SpeedTree, Part 4 -odd and ends”

SpeedTree, Part 3

Continuing from where we left off, I wanted to talk about Zones, Meshes, and Masks. Using mesh zones you can grow your plant life off it’s surface versus from a single point. This works great for ivy and other types of vines. You can then use the same mesh as a mesh force to attract the plant life to it.

There are a couple ways to begin using Zone(s), you click under the “Add” tab and select “Zones-Zone”.


Which gives you an empty Zone that you can attach an imported mesh.


Or when you import a mesh, you get the Mesh Wizard dialogue box asking you how to use the Mesh. If you’re to use it as a Zone, you’ll pick the 3rd choice; Continue reading “SpeedTree, Part 3”

SpeedTree, Part 2 – Making Normal maps from Photos

We did an overview of SpeedTree last week, I wanted to show you what I was able to do from that point to create my own trees/plants. Using my own Leaf scans. First off, I wanted to run some tests in applications for generating Normals maps using my color map image.  There are a bunch of ways to create normals now from images.  I used the color map of a leaf from a SpeedTree  plant so I could have it’s Normal map to compare from the versions I got in other applications. I started with this Leaf from a topiary vines tree I purchased called Kudzu.

SpeedTree Color Map:


SpeedTree Normal Map:


Newer version of Photoshop has ability to generate a Normal map from Filters–3d–Create Normal Map. Continue reading “SpeedTree, Part 2 – Making Normal maps from Photos”

SpeedTree, Part 1

SpeedTree is great program for creating vegetation; trees, plants, and etc.  It is very intuitive and easy to navigate. SpeedTree is a node based system with a procedural and a hand drawn approach. Many studios are adopting it into their workflow.

You can start with their vast library (free with Cinema version) or create your own using custom leaf or branch models and textures. speedtree_library

Click into any of the categories to see a whole host of wonderful trees/plants to download. Here is some of the broadleave trees.


You can export as a mesh with baked-in wind animation via point cache, and then bring it into your rendering package of choice. It is fast and flexible once you get used to its GUI. The tree are true 3d geometry. The leafs Continue reading “SpeedTree, Part 1”