Learn by Doing

Canadian Pizza car rendering practice. Using this for learning to design and render a car. I drew the 2nd car view to practice my sketching based off Dwayne 1st sketch. Did the rendering in both photoshop and Corel painter really learned how to make grayscale to color and rendering the car highlights. Following up to the previous sketch render. A new kind of pizza single seat car for delivering pizzas in urban areas. The sketch design was originally done by Dwayne Vance from Masters of Chicken scratch @mastersofchickenscratch https://buff.ly/2vS4jWl #pizza #canadapizza #car #automotive #practice #rendering #photoshop #design #digitalpainting #grayscaletocolor #renderreflections #pizzaguy #painter #corelpainter

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How often have we read up on stuff and think we can do it but never take action? Well, recently I have completed a small painting Project. I deceided to learn to paint grayscale to color painting. 

I did this by taking Dwayne Vance sketch of a vehicle and painting over it, taking lessons through a book from How To Render on the techniques used in painting a grayscale image.

For this project I wanted to know 

  • How to make a grayscale image to color.
  • Learn to practice painting in B&W values first.
  • Understand painting basic car reflections and highlights

Here is the process:

  • I planned out the steps needed by looking at others and seeing how they did it.
  • I drew over the sketch drawing to create my line drawing
  • I did a value study referencing images and photographs
  • Using the How To Render technique by Scott Robertson to convert the grayscale to color.
  • I repeated this on a different perspective of the same vehicle I reference again.

Lessons learnt:

You learn only by taking action of the theory you learn in the books or video tutorials.

Take action today it will help solidify your learning even doing a small task of the lessons you are learning.



    Podcast: Ep03 First look at Media Composer

    I recently recorded a podcast on Anchor talking about my first experience with Media Composer First. Check it out on Anchor. So far Anchor has been interesting I like that its 5 Mins and you can record and publish on your mobile phone.

    Anchor Link: https://anchor.fm/williamteh/episodes/c6efbc

    A Bit on my review on Media Composer. Some other

    Things I like

    • Its the full media composer nothings seems missing.
    • Has Color correction
    • All the effects and filters are there you can do basic comp work.
    • Can publish to YouTube and Vimeo.

    The Bad and Negatives

    • You have to do the AVID Way of things. Like AMA linking footage and
    • UI is a bit Clunky and not as streamlined as Premiere or Resolve
    • Coming from a premiere pro user I am so used to throwing any kind of footage into the timeline. Not all Media files work.
    • Only 5 Bins per project
    • 4 Video Tracks and 8 Audio Tracks which is enough.
    • You need to be connected to the internet to start the program using the AVID App manager.

    Avid has come a long way to release a free program to let you learn and get started. I wish there were some integration with their Free Pro Tools First so you can dip into making audio effects.

    Mistika Insight Hero Suite – Free Learning edition

    UPDATE: TL;DR at the End of the post

    Recently there have been a few of the Post-Production Software Providers starting to give free or lite versions of their apps. We have Lightworks, Davinci Resolve & Fusion and more recently Avid Media Composer First.

    Now add to that pile we have Mistika Insight. I just happened to chance upon reading it on Redshark news website.

    This is good for students and freelancers like myself who were on other platforms to dip into other color grading and editing systems, to see what is out there and see if this can fit your workflow in the future.

    Here is what SGO says about Mistika Ultima

    The world’s most advanced Hero Suite, providing editing, VFX, colour grading, text, paint, audio, S3D, full finishing, and more, in a completely scalable, truly interactive, fully real-time, and totally resolution independent post-production system. Such wide-ranging features and capabilities enable Mistika to be used on-set with a laptop, through boutique facilities to large multi-faceted studio workflows, enabling Mistika to redefine the traditional concept of a Hero Suite.” – SGO.ES

    First Impressions & Installation

    For Mistika Installation was easy and it was a one time activation by email and there is no nagging app helper or extra notifications that installs during your windows startup.

    I tried avid media composer free but it installed an Avid App manager similar to Adobe which I do not like that it keeps starting up and there were issues in getting a license from their servers initially.

    I gave it a spin and have to say I am impressed, it runs quite well on my old dell 4600 system. Unlike Resolve 14 which was in beta it crashes on launched.

    Looking at the UI it feels like Autodesk Flame or Assimilate Scratch. It does not work as easy as Resolve or Avid Media Composer. This is afterall an application for Color DI Work and doing FX Compositing like Green Screen effects.

    Getting a small project edited

    Doing some FX Work in Mistika.

    I downloaded some sample footage of Sony FS cameras and ProRes Footage.

    Now looking at This version of SGO Mistika. It does seem overwhelming. It does not work like Premiere or Avid Media Composer.

    It has a Project and folder structure you have to follow.

    It has effects built in to do some VFX. I like that the effects are node based.

    You can do an output of 1080p HD footage with MP4 codecs.

    Customers of SGO

    Star Wars Force Awaken Finising on SGO Mistika.

    Quantum Break editing and finishing a Live Action show for a video game.

    I loved the game quantum break and it was interesting to see Mistiaka being used as a post hub to edit the VFX and make the final Edits. The game featured multiple endings and storylines.

    “Working on Quantum Break appealed to me straight away because of its technical challenges. I have three Mistikas at LightBender and we use them for a variety of projects, but this was the first time I’ve worked on such a unique gaming project that’s so different from any other. They started shooting in February last year (2015) and it took approximately eight months to deliver the final cut, using Mistika to review VFX and serve as a hub for conforming and versioning.

    Quantum Break was interesting because it’s still a product that needs colour grading but built into the whole concept of a video game. This means there isn’t one set story line, the actual story changes multiple times when you start playing the game, so it is imperative I came up with a workflow that we could work effectively across all the different scenarios.”


    Training Webinar and Tutorials

    I would recommend downloading the manual and looking over some of the Webinairs to understand how Mistika Works. Their Website Forum, Vimeo and Facebook group have some nice videos tutorials.

    Links to learn Mistika:


    I am impressed with the signup, the software works. No App Cloud Extra things like Avid or Creative Cloud to distract you in starting to use the app.

    some other Things to Note about the Free License from Doodlenews

    Mistika has largely been the realm of Linux users, but there’s now a free download for both Mac and Windows users. And there appears to be a Virtual Reality suite as well. Since its free, users are kept under the glass ceiling that separates HD and 4K, so you’re limited to 1920 x 1080 MPEG4. Additionally, if you bother to read the SGO End User License Agreement (EULA), you are to agree to make only not for profit video projects, and the license is good for only a year.


    • App is Free that’s a plus
    • Does not seem to crash (So Far)
    • Do need a decent system and Storage to run smoothly
    • 1080P output Which is enough to learn and make a small reel
    • Not for beginners
    • This is more for DI work and Post Production Finishing
    • Can do effects but not sure how much dept it has as compared to Nuke or Fusion
    • Editing is a little different from traditional NLEs (Premiere & Avid)
    • You can only make Non-Commercial Works as part of the License Agreement
    • The Free License is only valid for a year

    The Magic of Thinking Big

    This was a great podcast show by Dan Miller, to learn about The Magic of thinking big. A book written in 1959 lessons still applicable whether your 8 years or 88 years old. Check out the show notes on Dan Miller website: http://www.48days.com/magic-thinking-big/

    48 Days to the Work You Love Internet Radio Show: The Magic of Thinking Big. https://overcast.fm/+JGMWtuMg
    I like the 5 steps to increase your confidence see below.

    It’s important to have large goals cause when it’s seems like a big vision it’s more exciting to do them rather than small goals. What ever personal projects you have do think bigger than your initial plan.

    Some of my Notes:

    On setting goals:

    I like that he says to stop the “Fake it till you make it” cliche, it phony. But instead tell the truth in advance (Zig Ziglar) I am going too…(insert whatever action). Don’t look at things that they are but what they can be.

    People see something in their own thoughts and took actions to make it happen.

    The person is the product of his own thoughts.

    Stop Excusititis (Stop excuses) like I am too old, I don’t have a degree or network or experience etc.

    Some middle age people have advantages early in life. Like those that have JD or advance degrees the irony is they suddenly realize they have been living someone else dream.

    Henry David Thoreau

    “I see young men, my townsmen, whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, barns, cattle, and farming tools; for these are more easily acquired than got rid of. Better if they had been born in the open pasture and suckled by a wolf, that they might have seen with clearer eyes what field they were called to labor in.”

    Carve out your own path. Don’t follow or replicate the success of your parents.

    It’s really a disadvantage when you have advantages early on in life. You don’t see or experience struggle.

    Albert Einstein

    “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

    Fear causes inactivity. The major obstacle to thinking big.

    Action is the cure to fear. Indecision procrastination and inactivity adds to fear.

    Do something fresh and new not something perfect initially.

    Do what you fear and fear disappear. But plan out and take the calculated risks.

    Lastly a great Recap and action we can put in today: https://overcast.fm/+JGMWtuMg/29:48

    19:40 – 5 simple actions to help us feel more confident:

    Be a front seater. Sitting up front builds confidence.

    Practice eye contact. Looking the other person in the eye tells him, “I’m honest and confident.”

    Walk 25% Faster. Psychologists link slovenly postures and sluggish walking to unpleasant attitudes towards oneself, work and the people around us. The extremely beaten people, the real down-and-outers, just shuffle and stumble along. They have zero confidence. The walk of a confident person tells the world, “I’ve got someplace important to go, something important to do.”
    Throw your shoulders back, lift up your head, move ahead just a little faster and feel self-confidence grow.

    Practice speaking up.
    As you speak up, you add to your confidence. It’s a confidence building vitamin.

    Smile big
    . Try to feel defeated and smile big at the same time. You can’t do it. A big smile gives confidence. A big smile beats fear, rolls away worry, defeats despondency.

    Willow early concept art by Moebius was different from the film


    Man Moebius really kills it with his art for the movie willow. Though the film turned out different. These designs really show a different fantasy world envisioned by the artist. I hope someday these can be repurposed in another film or concept elsewhere.

    Tell Forward Blog discovered this and he describes the work of moebius, was really able to understand George Lucas influences and translate them to a drawing to inspire the film’s concept.

    The sheer amount of art that has been produced for Lucasfilm projects is overwhelming in its quantity and quality. One of the artists, whose contributions to Lucasfilm’s archives are particularly exciting, is French master illustrator Jean “Moebius” Giraud.

    When I was in college, a friend showed me a book that was a retrospective of Moebius’ diverse works for various clients over his long career. I was stunned when I came to a series of spreads exploring a rich fantasy world through pen and ink and watercolor. I was further surprised when I realized that these designs were commissioned by Lucasfilm for the film “Willow.” As an enormous fan of Moebius and as a huge fan of these sketches, it is impossible for me not to imagine what a film driven by these designs would have looked like.

    Moebius shows himself to be a master of understanding George Lucas’ influences for this film, which included Akira Kurosawa’s Noh influenced samurai films. His use of a Noh theater mask for the character of Sorsha is one of my favorite decisions. Another example of Moebius’ playfulness as a creative thinker is his making the Kael character a purple beast with a tattoo of a green dragon on his forehead. Essentially, a monster who has a tattoo of a monster on him!