About

Jan 4, 2021

Hello everyone, I am administrator and co-author of all content on RenderStuff.com, you can read about me down below. I will explain what this website is about, its current goals, history, and what to expect in the future.

Goals

RenderStuff is a small portal about CG and 3D graphics. Here you will find assets and special software related to computer graphics, and, of course, theoretical materials in the form of tutorials and articles. Their purpose is to help all enthusiasts and fans of computer graphics, as well as professional artists in their studies and daily work.

Currently this website and most content is created and maintained by one person, so you may think it's a kind of personal blog, but it's not. For instance if you want to share some tutorials, articles, or maybe some CG-related assets, such as 3D models or textures, then please contact us for details. I will be happy to publish any interesting material here, but, of course, it must be something unique, CG related and you must be original author. The site already contains some materials donated by others. For example, this excellent 3D model of a luxury bed set is made by gus_ann our prior forum activist.

In return, I can put a desired description on a page with content you are donating, as well as a link to your profile, portfolio, 3D school, or even a link to your 2D/3D stock page, as long as it's relevant to CG.

As you may notice, we also publish here premium items with links to pages on 3D market. This is an important part of RenderStuff, as it is the source of financial support that has allowed this site to keep going all these years.

Authors

This site was founded by two CG artists, but since one of us is now busy with other things, only I introduce myself.

My name is Anton, I am from Ukraine. I am a CG enthusiast and professional CG generalist. I have a technical education: a radio technician with a college secondary education, and a software engineer with a bachelor's degree of university. I already have over 10 years of experience in the industry of CG. My career started as a simple photo designer in a photo studio. Then I gradually started working on architectural visualization projects as a 3D visualizer. In fact, most of the early free 3D models here are the assets that I extracted from our interior scenes at the time. My next career step was an creative graphic design agency as a 3D Generalist. Any idea that needed to be realistically visualized in volume was on me. After few years there, global financial crisis make its own move, and it was a turning point when I changed my approach to work and clearly decided to become an freelance 3D artist. I visualized lot of things as a freelance artist, from grasshopper clock to underwater pod prototype. Then, on one of freelance sites, I got a long-term contract with a US-based promotional agency and remotely worked with it for more than eight years. The work was exclusively a promo and educational materials for medical companies. It was a full cycle of services, from 3D modeling to video compositing. Now I am self-employed 3D artist / CG Generalist and, of course, the RenderStuff administrator.

My main CG toolset is: 3ds Max, V-Ray, ZBrush, Substance Painter, Photoshop, After Effects.

I can definitely call myself a 3ds Max guy because I've been using this 3D editor since the beginning and I love it. But there are noticeable changes in the market. After the release of Blender 2.8 with its rapid development, and at the same time, with an almost complete stasis of really useful new features and interface improvements in new 3ds Max releases over the past five last years, I am guaranteed to become a Blender expert: wait a new Blender oriented materials.

It is worth noting that I am not a native English speaker: I make mistakes that can irritate those who uses English from childhood. So if you find something here that hard to read, please let me know, I'll make changes to the content. This will help make texts here more readable for everyone.

If you have any questions, RenderStuff related to or not, please contact me, I will be happy to help you as much as I can.

History

In 2008, my work teammate Max and I already had a lot of things we wanted to share with the community, so we managed a simple blog about CG. But it quickly became clear that just a blogging platform, that we have used before, does not cover all of our needs, such as sharing free downloadable 3D models or communicating with our visitors in an Internet forum format.

So that's how this site was born. We came up with a name combined with "render" + "stuff". Where "render" is literally means the rendering process, because this website is mainly about 3D graphics, and rendering is an integral part of any area related to 3D, whether it is the 3D visualization of photorealistic still images or a real time 3D engines. The "stuff" is a general term that means 3D models, textures, tutorials, articles, and so on. In simple terms, RenderStuff is a website that mostly contains a variety of materials related to 3D rendering in one way or another.

Fortunately, Max had programming skills, so he wrote first version of RenderStuff:

Screenshot of RenderStuff website first design layout, taken in 2008. The site was written on HTML.

After several iterations of structure improvement, new sections and a forum were added:

Screenshot of a later RenderStuff website layout taken after 2016. The site was written on PHP.

RenderStuff is gaining some popularity, mainly among 3ds Max and V-Ray users. And this website can no longer be considered a simple hobby, as the amount of work on creating and maintaining content is growing rapidly, becoming a regular job of considerable amount. Of course, this started to interfere with our real paid work as freelance 3d artists. To deal with this, we decided to monetize our hobby by selling or, to be technically correct, by advertising our page on the TurboSquid 3D stock, where we actually sell our premium 3D assets.

It was expected that to earn a living, two professionals need a "bit" more, so we continued our journey as independent 3D artists. Later we received a long-term contract to create graphic materials for orthopedics. From photorealistic shots with prototypes of specialized medical equipment to full-fledged educational 3D animation of a surgeries on the spine and joints. This work lasted eight years. Immediately after that, we decided to go the way of increasing our value as professionals, acquiring new, more popular and more paid skills, namely programming. Not to replace 3D, but to complement it. By applying gained skills to Unreal, Unity, 3D editor's scripting and, of course, to support RenderStuff, using the latest web technologies. So we entered the university to get a degree in software engineering, and after years of study successfully obtained it.

As you may have guessed, due to our busy schedule, we could no longer support RenderStuff during business hours. Only in free time. But that was not enough. And the website gradually became abandoned. All these years it was online, all downloads were still available, but there was no new content, 3D models and tutorials, and no improvements to the interface and design.

As I said before, our university studies were over, and we had to decide what's next. Max decided to become a full-time programmer and got a job in a large software company, I decided to revive RenderStuff and implement all the ideas that came to my mind over the years.

So, now I'm "one man army" (though, I have to admit that Max still helps me in content), but I'm sure it will be much easier for me to maintain a website this time, because now I am technically able to implement my ideas. I actually wrote current version of RenderStuff myself from scratch.

Here's an interesting "historical" fact: the RefShelf software for images referencing, which I share with you for free, was actually my university diploma project. And it turned out so cool that I literally use this program almost every day.

Another "historical" thing is that, despite the forum was one of the most popular sections on RenderStuff, it has two main critical drawbacks. First, its main idea was to organize multilingual discussions. For example, a person who does not speak English writes in another language and the system automatically translates it. As a result of this approach, the forum has become crowded with auto-translation's that in practice are very difficult to read and at the same time impossible to delete, as this will change the flow of discussion. Second, instead of one CG artist discussing computer graphics with another, most people simply asked for our personal opinion. Therefore, the forum mostly turned into a banal free online consultation from two CG artists. It's not like we don't want to help people, but the number of questions and their complexity required to much time. So I decided to completely discard forum section on RenderStuff and not even make an archived version of it.

I appeal to those who participated in the discussions on that forum and even helped us to give answers or post their tutorials there: Friends, thank you for a good time, and I hope you treat this decision with understanding. Thanks ahead!

Future

Some structural improvements are planned, including comments on each relevant page with login via social networks and popular services. Some kind of "night mode" may also be added to make it easier for you to read tutorials and articles.

As for tutorials, I plan to continue making well-illustrated text tutorials, with only video inserts where necessary. I know most of you don't like reading, but for now, it's the best way to uncover complex topics. Because searching in text, as well as viewing static screenshots, is a much more convenient process than rewinding a large video back and forth trying to find "that second" where you saw some needed settings for a moment.

There is a free "Textures" section that is new to RenderStuff. Most likely I won't do HDRIs, because many of them can now be found for free elsewhere. And honestly, the exact texture of the environment doesn't really that much matter. Typically, you need day-night, summer-winter, inside-outside, city-nature. 10-50 HDRIs will cover most of the needs of 3D artists, and they all already exist. Of course, we are not talking about edge cases here. But the beautiful and precise texture on the surface of the model is really important. And there are still not many available, especially PBR, especially free. So I will try my best to fill this section with truly unique and useful assets.

I continue to work on new CG-related software tools, including improvements to existing ones.

However, the general plan is to focus on 3D assets right now, including free ones. This may seem confusing, but I'm not a big fan of free 3D models when it comes to really complex assets where you put a lot of effort. This is not only because you have to be paid for your hard work, but also because it really undermines the whole industry of professional 3D modeling. So complex 3D models, which save a tremendous amount of time for anyone who buys them, will remain paid, but professional, albeit simplified 3D assets, we will share freely.

Stay tuned!