William Miller (williamatics)

35 replies · posted


This is for the collab.  I feel ill right now, so I won't be able to get much done for now.

  • williamatics I hope that you're feeling now better again. Could you download all files from Google Drive and open the file with the aligned camera and the background image? If not, then you can use this file here in order to at least blockout your crate and take a screenshot of it for your homework submission  as described by Kent  theluthier here in #Announcement2 (scroll down until the orange frame). But we need to fix the problem with Google Drive. So please ask  theluthier

  • williamatics Just a quick reminder. We still need a name for our team? What's your vote?

    1) Shabby Chic 

    2) All Access(ories) 

    3) Shabby Fresnel Chic 

    4) The Stan Dalones 

  • This is what I have so far.  Once I add cracks and stuff I'll submit it.

  • Homework Submission - Week 1 - Crate


    I have decided that I want to sculpt the cracks and chips next week instead of modeling them by hand.  Right now it is composed of two separate objects, but I could combine them if so desired.

  • Homework Submission - Week 2 - Crate


    Unfortunately, my Blender crashes if I unhide all of the planks at once, and I am unable to join them.  I asked in the Discord if anyone else could do it for me.  Once the master file gets saved, that is what my submitted homework will be.

  • The mesh was hopelessly triangulated, so I decided to use dynamic topology.  This was the best I could do.  Is there any way I can continue?  I have no idea what to do.  Blender is hopelessly lagging.  My computer is utter trash.  The deadline is in a little over an hour from now.  How can I continue participating in the collab?

    • I am able to open your file. If there is something you need me to do to it let me know specifically what that is.  The triangles shouldn't be too big a deal.  You may just need to do a retopo pass, shouldn't be too bad with this asset. Don't give up.  I think most of us are a little behind, no big deal.

    • You could split the frame up in single planks, similar to mine.

      Then you only need to sculpt 3 Framepieces to  finish your frame.

    • Thanks to pprocyonlotor and amblender for your advice and encouragement for williamatics 😀! williamatics Many people here in the Collab are struggling with the sculpting, including myself 😉 (I didn't yet finish my chimney)! Keep on working  on your crate, you will certainly learn a lot in this project! And most important above all: You're always welcome here 😀👍!

    • I can't finish the frame because I have a cheap laptop.  I asked in the Discord if anyone could do it for me.  Sorry about that.

    • williamatics Depending on the level of subdivisions, even fast laptops can become very slow. So, don't worry 😀!

    • crew

      williamatics Dyntopo and laptops / lower-end PCs are not the best of friends 😅

      Wow, I just opened your latest WIP file and it took 60+ seconds to open....something is definitely wrong with your setup. I'm having a hard time understanding where you went wrong... 🤔

      If your laptop was even able to open this file then I have no doubts you could sculpt high-quality multires boards on the laptop.

      Do you want to give it another go or are you calling it quits?

    • theluthier I'm not a quitter.  I'll keep working.  I'm not sure what to do, though.  I was so sure that I had finished it, but then I saw the frame...

      I want to participate and finish stuff on time, but I don't know how to do that without making a half-baked product.  Do you have any ideas?

    • Okay, maybe I am a quitter.  I saw the stream recording and realized that not only would my computer not be able to handle the cavity baking, but I'd have to bake every map for every plank...

      I messed up when I applied those multires modifiers and saved over the previous version.  If there is a way I can still repair my work or participate in the collab in some way, please tell me.

      I joined this collab not so I could work on the project, but so I could prove to myself that I could actually complete a project.  For years I had abandoned everything I had started, and I want to be done with that.  I feel stressed and discouraged.  I haven't done anything in Blender for several days now.

      Maybe I can do one of those CG Boost challenges.

    • i saved you a file with only a few of your planks in there so you could keep working.

      Have you thought about using a sculpting method similar to the one Kent painted in the stream on tuesday. You could sculpt a big plane for your crate-planks. and then wrap it like a christmaspresent.

      I thought that could work and you have way less hp objects in your file making trouble.

      I hope the new file WIP_acc_crate_williamatics_tmp.blend will help you staying part of the project

    • Thank you, amblender , for helping 👍! williamatics Did you try it with the new file provided by amblender? Please let me know whether it works. I'll take a look at it myself. And please, don't give up! I'm sure, you'll finish your project with a beautifull crate 😀! Don't worry if your're behind schedule (That's the case with me, too 😉!) and keep in mind what Kent theluthier says here:

      No worries on being "behind" - Several people have needed more time to catch up. In fact week 4 is intentionally a buffer week for everyone to catch up 👌

    • williamatics I'm currently analyzing your file. Basically, you make a smart use of reusing a small set of pieces and rotating it in order to make it look as if there were a greater variety of pieces. However, 68 planks with around 400.000 vertices for each object is really heavy even for very fast computers despite you using linked duplicates. Each of these duplicates occupies a lot of memory (around 2GB for all planks together). This causes an extreme file loading time as described by theluthier above. I need to take a closer look into your file in order to understand what's going on. I'll try it with replacing the linked duplicates by object instances which are essentially "Empties" which are used to position a visual duplicate of the original object. This saves memory and hopefully helps avoiding the long file loading time.

    • crew

       I'm not a quitter.  I'll keep working

      That's the spirit williamatics! With determination you can definitely make this happen.

      If high poly sculpting is a bottleneck for your laptop, then you can forget sculpting all together. If you apply the same workflow from the Treasure Chest course,which didn't include sculpting, the file will be far less resource-intensive. It's all lo-poly modeling, map-baking, and texture painting. The crate is a perfect subject to apply what's taught there.

      How does that sound?

    • williamatics I totally agree with theluthier that you will complete your crate with determination 😀! In the end, you can only find out what's working for you by practicing. I had to do 3 blockouts for the house before I got an acceptable result and my chimney sculpt isn't the first version either 😉😁! You've obviously put a lot of determination into detailing your crate 👍 and with that spirit you'll succeed 😀!

      After some tests I've found out that it doesn't save you a significant amount of memory if you use "Collection Instances" instead of "Linked Duplicates" (ALT + D). With Suzanne and a "Subsurf" modifier on level 5 applied, the difference was only a few Kilobytes.  But as soon as I turned on "Dyntopo" and saved the file without any sculpting done, the file size almost doubled!!! And this was the case with Suzanne's unedited clean topology! The sculpted planks of your crate, williamatics, have a much more complicated topology!

      Now, I'll try whether a remeshed version of the planks will help to reduce the loading time for the file. One thing I noticed in your file, williamatics , is that there're deep crevices maybe some overhangs which won't bake fine into "Normal Maps". This alone would make a "Remesh" necessary. 

    • I've replaced the "Linked Duplicates" of the two basic planks by Empties with the same positions and orientations and hidden the two original planks. Now, 5 planks are remainning which are unlinked copies of the two basic planks. I'll replace them by empties as I did with the "Linked Duplicates" since the file size is still around 388 MB:

      Edit: After replacing the 5 "Unlinked Duplicates" in the screenshot above by  "Linked Duplicates", the file size is now below 112 MB! It takes 16 seconds on my computer to load the file.

      Edit2: This is the cleaned-up file here with 111.684 KB:

  • Normal Baking with the remeshed planks:

    File is here. theluthier and jlampel What do you think of this?

    williamatics Your crate still needs the detailed version of the framework which you've already blocked out.

  • What do you all do when you run into a problem and have to wait for someone to answer your question?  Just waiting doesn't seem right.

    What caused these normals to get so messed up?

    • If your googledrive file is up to date, then all your Normals are flipped. There are also some Faces on the edges that are wrong:

      That can't be good for baking...

    • crew

      What caused these normals to get so messed up?

      It looks like A) your LO poly may not be aligned well enough with your HI poly or B) your sculpted accepts changed the broad shape of you HI poly too far away from the LO poly. Either way I demonstrated a way to refine the threshold of baking during the week 3 stream.

      Make sure to thank duerer and spikeyxxx for their insight and attentiveness 🙏

  • All right, I'm done.  This was not an easy decision to make, but my computer has been struggling for a very long time.  Even in completely new files, Blender stops responding for no apparent reason.  In addition, my tablet buttons are jammed, and I'll have to get a new pen.  Regardless, I learned a lot from this collab, and I'm happy I got an A for the first week.  It's been great working with you all.

    I have ordered a new custom-built computer that is estimated to arrive on July 2nd.  It has the latest graphics card, a ton of RAM, and a 144 hz monitor.  I will not be making anything in Blender until it arrives.  I have lost all patience for my cheap laptop.

    In the meantime, I'll focus on music.  I need to get back to some of the music I've been working on, and I need to get better at the piano.

    See you in July!


  • williamatics You're always welcome 😀! You clearly made progress in this Collab and what you've learned will make future projects easier for you. I'm looking forward to see you here again 😀!

  • williamatics, I am sorry to hear that you have been having computer issues that have prevented you from benefiting from the full collab experience.  Even with your computer limitations, your thread shows that you made good progress.  I am sure you can't wait for the delivery of your new computer.  We will see you on the other side.  Until then, enjoy working on your music.