Me: Eric Keller

Hi and welcome to my Blog. This is a hastily compiled record of my digital art and computer graphics experiments. I am a freelance CG artist living and working in Hollywood CA. I have written several books on Maya and ZBrush. Below my blog you'll find links to the books and tutorials I have authored and co-authored. I also occasionally teach at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood. Soon I will get around to posting my demo reel and resume. I named my blog "Bloopatone" in honor of my first dog "Blue". She passed away a few years ago and I still miss her even though she was very grouchy and liked to bite me!

I'm proud to be an instructor at The Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood. Take a look at the work of our students and instructors on the Gnomon School Blog and the Gnomon Workshop Blog

Here is a link to my Demo Reel:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Digizyme Demo Reel

Digizyme, the company I am proud to work for, has posted its demo reel as well as a redesigned webiste. Check it out:


Stuck in Legal Seafood at Logan Airport because I missed my plane. Pulled out the lap top and zbrushed a barfly. Great way to make 4 hours dissapear. Did not use reference on this, juts kind of a doodle so I probably made a few mistakes with the anatomy.

Monday, June 30, 2014

E O Wilson's Life On Earth available for iPad

Very pleased to announce that all 7 volumes of Edward O. Wilson (official)'s Life on Earth has been released on iTunes for iBooks on the iPad and on Mac desktops. I spent the last two years working on this project which is a complete rewriting of High school and undergraduate biology led by the greatest biologist and naturalist of our time. I created at least 30 animations, 3D figures, and interactives for this project and it has been the most rewarding experience of my career. I'm extremely proud of this work. I feel like I have made a significant contribution to science education that will change the way students see the world in which they live. And the best part? Its' 100% free to download and use!!!! Check out the webpage:

Here is a nice trailer that gives a taste of the project:

For this project I used a lot of ZBrush and Maya. I also incorporated Luxion's Keyshot into both still images and interactive 3D models for anatomical reveals of many cool organisms. Luxology Modo was also used extensively. The animations were created by both Digizyme (the company I work for) and famous molecular animator Drew Berry.  The team I worked with is amazing group of women and men each with their own particular specialty. It was such a fun and exciting project I'm sad its over but we have some really really cool stuff in the works.

Here is a link to the book on iTunes. The book is readable in iBooks which can be run on both the iPad and Desktop/Laptops. iBooks is free from Apple.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Conicera Tibialis AKA The Coffin Fly

New model I just started with some help from friends at LA Natural History Museum. This is another personal project for fun but this time I'm very lucky to have help from knowledgeable entomologists. I have some cool plans for this model. Creepy little bugger, known for laying eggs in the decaying human remains within coffins. This is a male so far although I have not worked on the genitalia yet so technically its neutered. I'll do a female version as well I think. Just started this so many parts have yet to be modeled.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Niche: Experiments in Speculative Entomological Animations

I've updated my short film "Niche" with a new sequence depicting the Cactus Wasp. This is the model I created for my "Hyper-realistic Insect Modeling" lecture I made for the Gnomon workshop. I rebuilt the wings for this sequence, they were too flat in the previous version.

Here are a few still frames that I thought came out kinda nice...

Monday, April 21, 2014

Gasteracantha Hasselti weekend render project

In my quest to achieve more photo real renders I created a ZBrush model of Gasteracantha hasselti (a super cool spider). This one was a little difficult to get a render that did not look "CG". I modeled it in ZBrush then exported, textured, and rendered in Modo, but I didn't like it so I rigged the whole thing in Maya, added hair via Paint Effects, created new MIA shaders, and rendered using mental ray. I even did a short animation but the movement just wasn't right so I'm not posting it. I may try again after some study of spider movement. I need to step away form this critter for a while, do something else, come back and try again.

Here are some still images that came out pretty well. Don't ask me about render times. The DOF is in camera in the mental ray renders which took forever. The only post process I did in Photoshop was slight color tweaks. In one of the renders the spider had "angry eyes" which I fixed with a few dabs of a clone brush.

Here's the mental ray version with hair:

The Maya rig:

 Here is the Modo render (DOF added in Photoshop) Notice that without hair it loses a lot of realism.

Here is the ZBrush model:

 Next up I need to revisit some ant models that have been on the back burner for the last 18 months!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Maya Export To Modo Test

For a fun weekend project I decided to try exporting a Maya animation into Luxology's Modo using an Alembic cache. Turns out it was pretty easy. I like rendering in Modo a lot. Painless compared to mental ray (V-Ray is still my favorite rendering system though). Anywho, this was rendered with medium quality settings and without Depth of Field or motion blur (i'll use those options in another test later on). Far from perfect of course, but not bad for a few hours work. People tell me I spend too much time on insects so, here you go! I did a spider which is an arachnid and not an insect, Happy? ;)