What can a bunch of creative Swiss do with a photogrammetry castle model?

Each month we have a meetup called 3D Thursday here in Lausanne. We gather and have a nice “Apéro”, followed by a presentation on a theme related to 3D or Computer graphics in general.

In March the theme was Photogrammetry using a drone. Our presenter Thierry used a DJI and Photoscan 3D to produce a very interesting .obj model + texture of the castle of Vufflens-le-Chateau (making-of here in french) .


For April I proposed to our members to use the data (you can get it here) to create something, a render, a matte painting, an anim, a game or whatever they want and show it at our April session.

I was afraid that we would not have enough material to show or talk for an hour, but oh man was I wrong. Everyone (I love you guys) made something, that is amazing. As you can see we have many different users, backgrounds and styles !

So here are the results in no particular order.



so now that you are inspired…. download the data here or there and also create something fun !

Blender Python Dojo @ EPFL

Screen Shot 2017-03-30 at 16.24.46.pngLast friday I had the opportunity to give a quick workshop at EPFL about Blender and its basic functions for object manipulation and creation, followed by an intro to Python and its use inside Blender in the afternoon.

In the morning we saw how to orbit the view, move objects, scale, rotate them, as well as edit mode, and the wave modifier (!), which is always a fun thing to show. Another favorite moment is when they start modeling faces, extruding and you show them the CTRL-2 shortcut for applying the subdiv modifier. Instant Magic!

After lunch we started digging into Python and the bpy module. The participants where IT-guys and apprentis (professional students) all of them had programming background, so the Python part was the easy one. Here are the few slides I used as a visual support to my explanations : https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1HMRJStTcLKBWT84rSDiCxXvTyMrzAh8NehbgYxc6Elk/edit?usp=sharing

We then had an in-depth look into the random character generator script (pasteall here). It creates a char by creating a body object, assigning a mesh data taken randomly between all available mesh datas that start with “body_”. It then does the same with “head_” , “eye_” and “mouth_” by placing them to a specified height.
Instead of creating a material for each character and assigning a random color value, I opted instead for assigning a random object pass index beetween 1 and 10, and then use this pass_index in a node tree to drive the fac of a colorramp. This not only gives opportunity to show to the participants another way of doing things, but also would allow for easier color scheme choosing if one wanted to change colors of all characters (we only need to tweak the colorramp)

Here are some of the body, head, mouth components used to generate the random characters.

Screen Shot 2017-03-30 at 11.23.12.png

All the parts need to have a correct origin. You can find them on layer 2 in the final file. The script and files are free to download and thinker with. Possible improvement would be to add a bpy.app.handlers.frame_change_pre.append(main) to render out an animation with a myriad of avatars. Or we could generate avatars according to an input name or text.

You can download the final .blend file here :
Just press the Run Script to create a random character

Here is the A4 cheatsheet of basic shortcuts I give out to participants :


3D Nature shots

This summer we had an interesting opportunity at work to create some nature scenes. Check the movie at the end of the article

Nature Shots

The type of nature we were looking for is the karstic jurassic scenes of Jura (not sure about the geological correctness of it). We created 3 sets of shots, a blueish one, another yellowish, and finally a night shot. In the end we edited them nicely so we do not feel too much the differences.

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 23.25.54

We used those shots as background and integrated the images and footages provided by the client. Here are few examples of end result (using open movies content as placeholders).


We managed to create a nice 2 minutes movie of nature background and front content from the client. As usual the trick to manage all those shots in only a few days, was to create a small library of assets that we could reuse. Those included stones, rocks, trees, pine trees, leaves, plants and flowers (all plants were just 2d planes) and more low-res rocks

some rocks

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 23.24.34

The movie was used internally so we can not show the company’s content, but instead I made a small edit of just the 3D Scenes, including a small “behind the scenes” sequence.

Here is the result (Edit of only the 3D scenes)



3D Thursdays – 3D meetups

Today I am going to talk about a recurring event that takes place in Lausanne every 3rd Thursday of the month: the fantastic 3D Thursdays!


At first we wanted to organize something like a Blender monthly meetup, but 3D and CGI is such a vast world, we wanted to include more subjects and more enthusiasts people!, So we are open to everything CG and more… like 2D painting, VR, game stuff etc…

It is held at the Fixme hackerspace using the meetup space from Univercité. We usually start from 19h with a traditional “Apéro”, a welcome drink and chips, chatting and getting to know each other, sharing news etc… Then at 20h we have the main event/présentation that lasts suually for an hour, followed by questions and discussion.


3D Thursday posterWe use the meetup plateform for organizing the com.

If you are in the area, come join us or share the link: http://www.meetup.com/fr-FR/Lausanne-3D-Thursday/

Here are some of our previous meetups themes:

  • Rigging
  • Architectural 3D renderings
  • 2D painting, discovery of Krita software
  • Materials and rendering
  • An evening of sharing tips and tricks of production

In your area?

If you are interested in organizing a similar event in your area, feel free to do it! There is no trademark! … you can get a .SVG file of the poster here : https://www.dropbox.com/s/fx53iyvq70bsabr/affiche2.svg?dl=0
Easy tip to remember: 3D Thursday is on the 3rd of the month!

Create a sci-fi image in one hour, and why I could do it.

This week I was browsing the web when I fell on an image that struck me. As usual the image was downloaded and put in my “inspiration” folder, a place where there are all sort of stuff that must be checked back later , either to analyze, study from, get inspired or maybe try to recreate a similar atmosphere or effect depicted in that image. The image can be found here : www.connector3d.com (made by moth3r.com)

So yesterday I had some free time and I wanted to redo this strong contrasted image, of a pure white light illuminating a kind of spaceship dock or bay. Here is the image that took me around one hour to create (not counting rendering 20mins)


As you can see this is fairly detailed and that is the point I want to focus on today :reusing pre-modeled greebles freely available.

Here is the quick process creating this image :

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 19.30.08First I block some basic shapes (very classic in itself, the aim of exercise was more of lighting). I could have gone more hexagonal, or with stronger silhouette.

Then I remembered having seen some pretty good greeble blend swap file.  Here is the file (http://www.blendswap.com/blends/view/45973), and once again it is done by Kuhnindustries, who is an amazing modeler!

Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 19.31.51

I do believe those kind of blendswaps are the most useful ones. Small elements that you can reuse and assemble in a bigger set/model/scene, just like Lego bricks. If you know of some other ones feel free to comment below, I will add them here

So again thanks Kuhnindustries for all your models! If you ever meet me, you get a few free drinks 🙂

p.s. Someone on Twitter rightfully mentionned that this image has no real Point of Interest. In fact the original image had some text in the center, so here is an updated version, with something to look at 🙂


Blender Meeting – SwissBUG @ Lausanne Apr 25th

Hello Blenderheads!

(Version française : http://www.kopilot.ch/blender-blog-swiss-bug-lausanne-april-2015/ )

We are pleased to announce a new gathering of Swiss Blender Users.


Let’s meet April 25th at 14h.

The location is again in Lausanne, to be more precise in Renens in the conference room of the Ateliers de la Ville de Renens. It is at the same place than our friend Thierry from Kopilot (check www.kopilot.ch, awesome tutorials!)

Here is the schedule:

  • 14h00 – Welcome and get to know each other
  • 15h00 – Camera Tracking and 3D integration Demo
    Presented by Greg Michoud www.gregdesign.ch and Olivier Amrein www.olivieramrein.com
  • 16h30 – Questions and remarks
  • 17h30 – Show your artwork, projects and apéro time :)
  • around 20h – Food time

You can find more informations including phone number and location address here : www.7media.ch/contact

Take your laptops, mouse, wifi provided.

See you soon!

New Demoreel ! + Blender conference

Amid all the work and family, plus a new personal project (more on this mystery project later on this blog), I got some time to slightly update my demoreel.

The last weekend of october is the Blender Conference in Amsterdam. It is always a great time to blend and meet friends. Hope to see you there. If you will be there, make sure to contact me.

I will be presenting again, something fun, something secret, something easy, something difficult, something unknown, something red, something problematic… It will be all these at the same time !! Stay tuned


Flickr Photos

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