Saturday, December 20, 2008 Is Updated Dec 20th 2008

Added a bunch of new speed paintings to the gallery (many of which made their debut on this blog). Most of these are not sci-fi / fantasy related, but based on landscape photographs from around the world. I found the exercise to be a lot of fun, and I know the practice will help me when I start back into my robots, creatures and alien landscapes in January. So enjoy the change of pace, and for all your hardcore sci-fi folk, don't worry, I have some great new ideas for 2009 that I think you'll enjoy!

The Details: Added two Sketches called "Twin Peaks 2" and "Grabbot Sketch", added two Color Roughs called "Eruption" and "Red Devil", and added 5 speed painting studies called "Cliffs Of Moher", "Big Sur Sunset", "Lake Mead Sunset", "Lausanne", and "Distant Hills".

Visit to see the new work.

Thanks to everyone for your support!

Friday, December 19, 2008

SoulburnScripts Updated Dec 19th 2008

Max script update:

Updated several older scripts, here's the major updates:

splinePainter: Added ability to close the spline after creation.
sLib: Added sLibPowerNurbsFilter.
powerSolidManager: Also works on Power Nurbs now.
parameterManager: Added a progress bar to startup, hopefully it'll build it's list a little faster, or at least you'll know it hasn't crashed. Fixed a couple of crash bugs.
modifierUtilities: Changed the default modifiers. You can get the old set back by making your own custom set of default modifiers.
wireBundler: Modified the parameters of SplineMesher to create more consistent results.

Thanks to everyone for your support.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New Speed Painting: Cliffs Of Moher

Quick speed painting, I can't imagine any painting that could properly capture the scale of these enormous cliffs. They were cool to see, cool to photograph, and now cool to paint. Check em out if you're ever in Ireland, they're not to be missed.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Soulburn 3D Education Page Updated Nov 21st 2008

The Soulburn CG Education Page has been updated:

* Added a new lesson which gives step by step instructions on how to do Pelt Mapping.
* Added a note about a limitation in my Worn Edges Using A Distorted Vertex Map lesson.
* Added some more details to Converting A Mudbox 2.0 Model To 3DSMax.
* Added another new technique to Removing Brightness Variation To Make Tileable Textures.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

SoulburnScripts Updated Nov 20th 2008

Max script update:

Updated several older scripts, here's the major updates:

attachSelectedObjects You can now successfully cancel out of a large attach operation.
imagePlaneMaker Now has a button to quickly hide or unhide the templates.
wireBundler Will now match material applied to existing splines. Added a new Appearance Type, SplineMesher.
subdivisionAutomator Fixed a bug that caused selection mode not to work.
sLib Added sLibSplineMesherTest

Thanks to everyone for your support.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Speed Painting: Big Sur Sunset

It's the end of a furious week of speed painting, so I guess it makes sense to do a sunset to close out. This was based on a photo I took while on vacation in Big Sur with my wife, every night we sat on the coast and watched the sun go down. In our busy lives, it's difficult to find the time to watch a nice sunset. Just like how it's difficult to find time for speed painting. But both are worth the effort.

Friday, November 14, 2008

New Speed Painting: Lake Mead Sunset

This is a study from a photo I took back in 2001 during a Lake Mead houseboat trip with blur studio. I always enjoy a really spectacular sunset, this was shortly after the sun dipped below the horizon and all that's left is those crazy saturated oranges, pinks and yellows. Painted in an hour or two, I wanted to get all the detail and richness of the colors in that sky.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Speed Painting: Lausanne

This is a study from a photo my cousin took in Switzerland. Painted in about 2 hours in photoshop. I altered the lighting a bit from the original photo to get a little more drama in there.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Speed Painting: Distant Hills

This is a study from a photo I found on the net. Unfortunately, I can no longer find the original photo, and so I don't have the name of the photographer to credit. Painted in about an hour in photoshop.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Speed Painting: Red Devil

A new image in the style of my Mountain King image, maybe it's just the red color, but this guy feels more sinister to me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

New Speed Painting: Eruption

Decided to do a bunch of speed paintings this month, this is the first of a new batch. Got a little crazy with the colors, so I guess this is more an "impression" of a volcano eruption than a real volcano, although you'd be surprised at some of the crazy colors you get when a real volcano explodes.

Saturday, November 8, 2008 Is Updated Nov 8th 2008

First off, a big thanks to everyone who came to APE and visited my booth. I really appreciated all your feedback. And a big thanks to those who supported me by purchasing one of my prints or posters, I hope you really enjoy them.

Speaking of posters, I now have posters available in the Store section of my website, check them out.

Also, added two new mudbox models in the gallery, "High Priest" and "Kyte".

Visit to see the new work.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Soulburn 3D Education Page Updated Oct 7th 2008

The Soulburn CG Education Page has been updated:

Added a new lesson called Tiled Floor Material, and another one called Converting A Mudbox 2.0 Model To 3DSMax.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

SoulburnScripts Updated Sept 18th 2008

Max script update:

NOTICE: I had to make some major changes to sLib to remove several recursion bugs that could cause max to crash. I've successfully removed the bugs, but it's possible I may have introduced new ones, despite a lot of testing to make sure all of the functions still work correctly. If you see any weirdness where scripts you know worked aren't working as expected anymore, please get in touch with me immediately. Thanks.

Updated several older scripts, here's the major updates:

objectPainter: Added a place mode, instead of painting a series of objects on the surface, it will place a single object at the spot you initial touch.
bitmapCollector: Added Extra Copy Path value. If you want to copy the maps to more than one directory, add the extra paths in here, with a , between each path.
alignViewportToFace: I now give the option of facing the face or seeing it from the side.
objectReplacer: Now retains Display Properties.
soulburnScriptsLister: Fixed naming error in internal variables. Users should not see any change.
sLib: Removed recursive functions, replaced them with loops.

Thanks to everyone for your support.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Come Visit the 2008 Alternative Press Expo!

I will be selling posters and limited edition fineart prints of my work at this year's Alternative Press Expo (APE) in San Francisco on Nov 1st and 2nd. So drop in and say hi, and check out all the other fantastic artist who will be showing off their stuff. For more information, go here.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Soulburn 3D Education Page Updated Sept 1st 2008

The Soulburn CG Education Page has been updated:

Added a new lesson called Towels, Carpet Or Grass Material Using Displacement.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

SoulburnScripts Updated Aug 20th 2008

Max script update:

Updated several older scripts, here's the major updates:

nameManager: Added a new mode for renaming maps, not just bitmap maps.
texmapPreview: Added some simple mentalray support.
bitmapCollector: Now gets maps associated with UnwrapUVW modifiers.
selectionHighlighter: Now when you turn off the script, it will turn the Preview Selection mode of your objects to what they were before you entered Selection Highlighting mode.
parameterManager: Now handles the CastShadow property of lights.

Thanks to everyone for your support.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Soulburn 3D Education Page Updated Aug 16th 2008

The Soulburn CG Education Page has been updated:

Added a new lesson called Ambient Occlusion Rust.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Siggraph Talk and Digital Art Master Vol 3

First off, a huge thanks to everyone who came to my Shading & Texturing class at Siggraph. I really appreciate the support, and hopefully the information I presented will be useful to you. I certainly learned a few new tricks.

Also, I have a chapter in the new book Digital Art Masters Volume 3 discussing how I went about creating my "Mouths To Feed III" image. To purchase the book (and get a preview) go here. Is Updated Aug 15th 2008

Added several new images to the gallery on my website, 2 models called "Prey" and "Loaderbot 1", a speed painting called "Cattle III" (originally shown on this blog) and a new 3d image called "The Ark".

Visit to see the new work.

Interview with

If you read russian, check out another new interview with me at the website.

3DCreative Interview in Issue 35

3DCreative did a 7 page interview with me, which also includes a number of images, go here to purchase Issue 35 of their magazine in pdf format.

My work is in Ballistic's "Elemental 3" Book

I am honored to have been both a judge for, and to have gotten some of my images into the book Elemental 3 by Ballistic Publishing.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Interview with It's Art Magazine about Wall-e

It's Art Magazine has interviewed me about the work I did on Pixar's film Wall-E. Read all about it here.

Friday, July 18, 2008

SoulburnScripts Updated July 18th 2008

Max script update:

Created one new script:

polyCountSelector: Selects objects based on their facecount.

Updated several older scripts, here's the major updates:

bitmapCollector: Now searches your mappaths and local maxdir for missing bitmaps.
modifierUtilities: Added a new mode for selecting objects with uVWMapping Modifiers with a specific map channel.
subdivisionAutomator: Added a new button to select all the scene objects with a skip tag. Good for quickly seeing which objects in your scene will be skipped by the script.
transformSelector: Added ability to find non-reset transforms. Good for finding any objects that have no had their transforms reset.
blendedBoxMapMaker: Fixed a bug that would crash the script when reading in defs.
objectPainter: In case you have a slow computer, you can now have your painted objects appear in box mode. Cleaned up interface some, it was getting too long.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

SoulburnScripts Updated June 21st 2008

All bugfixes and a few small new features this month, haven't had much time to script.

Max script update:

Updated several scripts, here's the major updates:

wireBundler: Fixed Crash Bug.
modifierUtilities: Added ability to turn on or off or toggle modifiers.
objectPainter: You can now align your object based on stroke direction.
mirrorObjectAlongAxis: Added a "No Clone" method that just flips the objects.
subdivisionAutomator: Now when performing the function on the scene, only affects visible objects. This speeds things up a lot for complex scenes. Also performs some selection magic to speed up removing the modifier at the end of a render.
objectDetacher: Retains the same layer info when detaching.
vertPlacer: You can now choose where it places the vertex by clicking the mouse in the viewport.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Finished New Digital Painting: Cattle III

Another new cattle image. Why I am obsessed with alien looking cows? I don't know, I just am.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Finished New Model: Prey

This is one of those models that came to me during traffic. WTF you say? Well, I'm sitting in my car, stuck on the 580 going towards Emeryville, and I'm behind this big truck for a mile going at 5 mph, and the truck's rear bumper has all of these brake lights. Suddenly, it dawns on me that the warning lights look like a strip of eyes, staring back at me. The creative juices start to flow, and this is what I end up with. The eyes also remind me a bit of the Sentinels in the matrix films, but then again, people driving to ESC to work on those films were probably stuck in the exact same traffic I was, since their facility was only 5 exits south of where I was headed :) My inspiration also came from printer cables, and a beast that shows up in the middle of the film Naussica. There's something about the long and flat creature that I find unusually appealing, probably because it's not something you see in nature all the time.

The wires use my wireBundler script, Darktree for some of the texture, other parts of the texture were hand painted in photoshop. Rendered using Brazil 2.0.

Here's a smooth shaded view of the model.

Click here to see a turntable (approx 20 meg).

Saturday, June 7, 2008 Is Updated June 7th 2008

I am honored to have some of my work appear in both Expose 6 from Ballistic Publishing, as well as in It's Art Magazine Gallery Selection Year In Review Issue 1 2008.

I've spent the past year and a half working on Pixar's latest film Wall-e, modeling and texturing environments, which is out in the US on June 27th 2008. Check it out.

Added a few new images to the gallery, including a rock test...

A new speed painting called "Armada".

I also added a test of a fire hydrant, which is one of the examples I'll be showing off during my Siggraph 2008 Autodesk MasterClasses on Shading and Texturing. For tickets, go here.

Visit to get more info on the work.

Thanks to everyone for your support!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

SoulburnScripts Updated May 16th 2008

Some new scripts and new features.

Max script update:

The scripts have now been tested in Max 2009, and everything seems fine. So I'm adding official compatability with Max 2009. Let me know if you run into any weirdness.

Added 2 new scripts:

VertexMapDisplayer: Toggles or turns on or off the vertex map viewport display for all scene or selected objects.
instanceTrimmer: Takes a selection and reduces the selection to include only a single instance from each set of instances.

Updated several scripts, here's the major updates:

attachSelectedObjects: Fixed bug that can cause a crash when not using auto-detect mode.
objectReplacer: Now retains child info as well.
nameManager: Added several new modes, a mode to name objects based off material names, and a strip function and a uniquify name function. Also reordered a number of functions, so please be careful when starting the script that the function you've previously chosen hasn't changed to a new one before executing it. You can also just go to your scripts\SoulburnScripts\presets directory and delete any file named nameManager.ini, then you should be safe.
blendedBoxMapMaker: Added a way to specify the size of the modifiers.
objectDetacher: Gives an error message when trying to work on an object it can't affect.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Soulburn 3D Education Page Updated May 6th 2008

The Soulburn CG Education Page has been updated:

Here's what's new...

- Added a new lesson called Worn Edges Using A Distorted Vertex Map.

Thanks to everyone for your support.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

SoulburnScripts Updated Apr 22nd 2008

A bunch of fixes and new features to existing scripts.

Max script update:

Here's the big update, I replaced the Close button in all the scripts with a Help button. Use the X button to Close the Floater now. But the help button will finally let you read the description and a mini tutorial for each maxscript inside the max interface.

Updated several scripts, here's the major updates:

splinePainter: Added normalize feature to get smoother spacing between spline verts (although too much space will reduce spline detail).
nameManager: Added UpperCamelCase and lowerCamelCase.
splineManager: Added interactive mode so you can change values and have them automatically affect the selected splines.
cornerEdgeToVertexMap: Added a few new modes for capturing open border edges, or just selecting all edges.
blendedBoxMapMaker: Cleaned Up The UI a bit. Added a way to name the modifiers.
findInstances: Allowed it to work with multiple objects.
attachSelectedObjects: Added ability to center pivot of resulting mesh.

Monday, March 31, 2008

SoulburnScripts Updated Mar 31st 2008

Just a quick update with a few bug fixes and small updated features.

Max script update:

Updated several scripts, here's the major updates:

splinePainter: Fixed issue that would turn the paint button off even though you could still paint. Added Surface Offset Value, to place the spline a specified distance away from the surface. Added a way to rename the splines.
objectPainter: Added a way to add a prefix to the name of the objects.
makeObjectsUnique: Added options for refining what you want to make unique. Works on instanced controllers now (note: A max bug prevents all controllers from getting uninstanced, but it does work on most controllers.)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

SoulburnScripts Updated Mar 24th 2008

Yes, I know it's only been 4 days since the last collection, but I wanted to get a number of bug fixes out to you ASAP, and a few new useful features. So here's the news...

Added 1 new script:

splinePainter: This script lets you paint splines on the surface of another piece of geometry.

Updated a bunch of scripts, here's the major updates:

modifierUtilities: Fixed a Defaults Loading bug.
objectReplacer: Fixed a bug when trying to remove objects from a blank replacer list.
wireBundler: Fixed a bug when trying to remove objects from the various lists. Added weights to deform objects. Increase the weight of an object to have it chosen more frequently.
splineManager: Added controls for the Rectangular Renderable Splines.
objectPainter: Fixed a bug when trying to remove objects from the 2 lists. Added weights to paint with objects. Increase the weight of an object to have it chosen more frequently. Added scatter, so now your brushsize can determine the distance an object can be scattered. Added group support.
materialMover: Added an Unused mode, so you can, for example, only move materials to the material editor slots that don't currently contain scene materials. Or you can apply materials from your Material Library to only scene objects that do not currently have a material.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Autodesk MasterClasses at Siggraph 2008

I will be doing a 90min presentation at this year's Los Angeles Siggraph 2008 as part of the Autodesk MasterClasses on Wed, August 13th. The course is called "Shading & Texturing Sets, Props and Vehicles". In the class, I will be showing off a pipeline for efficiently adding shading and textures to anything non organic, whether it be for a set, a vehicle, props or a giant evil fighting robot.

I'll go over some basics, and then delve into a number of more advanced tricks that I use shade fast, including a number of tools I've written.

The course stresses that these techniques can be used no matter what software or renderer you choose to use, so example files will be done in Brazil, scanline and mentalray for 3dsmax, but even maya users can walk away from this course with some useful theory.

The course is for intermediate users, so there's material in here that should be useful to people just starting out, people with a decent working knowledge of max, and super users who want some advanced tips and tricks to help speed up their workflow.

Go here for information on getting tickets and for more information on the course...

And feel free to email me if you have any specific questions about the topics I'll be covering.


Friday, March 21, 2008

SoulburnScripts Updated Mar 21st 2008

I've been spending most of this week working on various maxscripts, tools for 3dsmax, and a few maya tools as well (MELScripts). I've just released them on my website, so if you use either of these two pieces of software, you may want to check the scripts out. Here's the details:

Max script update!

Added 2 new scripts:

findUniqueObjects: Finds objects in your selection that are unique, ie, that don't have any instances of themselves, and then does various things to them such as selecting them, printing their names, isolating them, etc.
cornerEdgeToVertexMap: Selects edges of a mesh based on the angle between adjacent faces, and then converts them to a vertex map. For example, you can select all the corner edges of a mesh and then convert them to a vertex map for use with a bump map or a mask to blend between textures.

Updated a bunch of scripts, here's the major updates:

blendedBoxMapMaker: Added tiling control to the modifiers. Added two new box types.
modifierUtilities: Added a new mode for selecting objects with no modifiers. Added ability to place the modifier at a specific spot.
subdivisionAutomator: Added feature to allow certain objects to be skipped from Auto Render processing. This is useful if say you want to apply the subdiv to everything in your scene except for 1 or 2 objects.
vertexAndEdgeConnector: Added an override to define the number of connected edge segements.
modifySubdivIters: Works properly now with instanced Modifiers.
parameterManager: Added support for Point3 values (such as the strength parameter for the noise modifier.) Added material and map support.
wireBundler: Now when doing Vert To Vert, script guarantees it won't pick the same vert twice.
nameManager: Added Material And Map Support.
imagePlaneMaker: Fixed a bug that would stop the Ini file from loading.

Maya script update!

Added 3 new small scripts...

NodeLock: Locks All Selected Nodes.
NodeUnLock: Unlocks All Selected Nodes.
AlignTranslation: Quickly Aligns the position of one object to another.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Welcome To My Blog

Hey there! My name is Neil Blevins, I am an artist who specializes in scifi and fantasy artwork. I currently work in the film industry. I also write software tools for several major 3d packages that I give away for free on my website, as well as post tutorials on various art related subjects. I also run a metal webzine called Soulkiller, where I post news and reviews about the metal scene. But this blog will mostly focus on my artwork, tools and tutorials (as it's name implies). I'll post again soon with some news and announcements, as well as new artwork, in the meantime, if you're curious, come visit my website at