The 3ds Max London User Group meets on the first Wednesday of every month at Truckles, opposite the British Museum. Started in 2007, the group enjoys a great number of professional members from London's advertising, architectural and animation industries. We meet to discuss ideas, methods and projects in a friendly, relaxed setting.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

3ds London

Just a quick reminder, there's no 3ds London tomorrow, Wed 3rd December (tricky arranging a free space in office-party season) or January (too early in the year)... So the next 3ds London will be on Wednesday 4th February at Truckles. Ages away I know, but it gives me a chance to arrange things properly for next year. I was left a bit deflated after a conversation at last month's event bemoaning the quality of speakers "we" have organized this year. A quick scroll through the event listings on suggests to me this opinion was unfair / slightly drunk. However, in the interest of ensuring the continued success of 3ds London, it's not something I felt I could ignore or get complacent about. I have asked a bunch of you recently what you think, and it's raised a number of points I'd like to address. So please reply and let me know what you think about the following, the more honestly the better!

1. The Venue. This has always been a massive hassle to get right. I think Truckles works pretty well, it's centrally located, free and more comfortably sized than previous venues. Our first night there at the beginning of the year was a bit of a disaster acoustically, but the space is generally exclusive now and they sorted a PA for the rest of the year. My only issue is the early closing time, but decamping to the Museum Tavern round the corner seems easy enough for anyone wishing to continue discussing 3ds Max (OK, drinking) late into the evening. An alternative suggested was finding somewhere better and charging on the door / securing sponsorship, neither which I'm personally keen on doing- see point 3 below. In 2013 we were hosted by a number of companies at their offices. Should I arrange more of these / would your company like to host one? Whilst I really enjoyed them, I have some reservations about 3ds London not having an easy to remember "home", and there are issues securing venues like Truckles for free if it's not a regular thing. Also, would 3ds London work better bi-monthly? What do you think?

2. A/V Equipment. As mentioned above, Truckles have a PA. I will get some speakers for next year. Our projector is a bit of a potato- any suggestions how we could steal / raise funds for a better one? Is the HDTV at Truckles a reasonable alternative or is it too small?

3.The Presenters. 3ds London has a deserved reputation (benefiting greatly from a highly accomplished membership) and attracts well known presenters and companies, literally, from around the world. It's also open to everybody regardless of their level. If someone has made the effort to prepare a talk and they're willing to stand up in front of everyone to give it, then they're very welcome and I'm very grateful. This isn't something I'm going to change. I'd feel uncomfortable deciding who gets to talk at an evening with an anyone welcome policy. There are plenty of amazing opportunities to hear industry leaders with our skill-set give high level talks annually. We're lucky to enjoy a lot of these at 3ds London, but it's important to remember it's a free, regular community event throughout the year. Also, some speakers don't welcome the pressure of being officially announced as presenting beforehand, but these are often the best ones... I guess you have to be there to hear them. The scheduled presentations aren't the only benefit of attendance: job / networking / beer drinking opportunities also contribute to the ethos of the evenings don't forget. But who do you want to see present in 2015? I haven't directly invited many presenters this year, relying on them to approach me. This is easy to change next year, and I'm very happy to do so. If you reply to nothing else in this email, give me some pointers at least!

4. Event Notification. Yeah... You should have got this last week. My feeling is every month is worth attending regardless of scheduled presenters, and everyone knows where and when it is. But I attend every one anyway... Next year I will make a big effort to post event details at least a week in advance. This year was particularly bad for late cancellations in regards to presenters. Deadlines happen and it's not something you can reasonably make someone feel guilty about (presentations do take time to prepare after all). There's often a lot of last minute scrambling around. If this happens next year I will be more transparent about the situation when it comes to posting details in a timely fashion. I must mention Sol who's organized a lot of 3ds London's social media presence, thank you chap. Does anyone have experience with Meetup, would it be a good alternative / addition to the email list?

6. Event Leadership. Larry Kleinkemper handed over principal responsibility for organizing 3ds London to me at the beginning of 2007 when he returned to the States. Is it time for a change, fresh blood? I'm very happy to keep organizing the evenings, but it's not "my" event by any means. Are you interested in getting more involved somehow?

Again, if nothing else, who do you want to see present in 2015? Apologies for the long email, I hope I've judged the tone correctly. For me, 3ds London should be a great balance between being professionally relevant and socially enjoyable, and I'd really like to see it flourish in 2015 and beyond. I hope you do too, so I'm looking forward to hearing your feedback to help it stay that way.

Have a great Christmas break! See you in the new year, kind regards, Simon

Check,, the LinkedIn group, follow @3dslondon or email to get on the distribution list.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Ryan Groves, Thinkbox Deadline & Chaos Group @ 3ds London this Wednesday

This Wednesday 5th November (remember, remember, e.t.c...) from 7pm, 3ds London at Truckles.

Long time attendee Mike Owen, Developer at Thinkbox Software, will be previewing some of the upcoming features in Deadline 7, how VMX can help solve a studio's move towards a truly agnostic cloud compute solution, and how Cloud Wizard can dramatically reduce the initial IT heavy setup time to under 30 minutes.

The Chaos Group are dropping in for a pint too: Master V-Ray Trainer Konstantin Gaytandzhiev, Alexander Karakashev (Marketing Team) and Andrey Abadzhiev (their new UK Territory Channel Manager). Konstantin is presenting at the BlueGFX Expo on Thursday (as is Mike)- it would be a bit cheeky to steal his presentation for that, but there will be a Q &A and some amazing showreels no doubt.

The Chaos Group have very kindly arranged for Ryan Groves, 3D Artist at the neighbourhood, to come along and share some brilliant V-Ray work. His personal project, The Louvre, Paris, looks set to be epic- check it out!

If you've got some work to share, especially V-Ray related, bring it along to show everyone. Regulars will note we're not at HayesDavison this November- they've got a lot on with their 25th celebrations at the moment. Hopefully we'll hook up with them early next year, but in the meantime, congratulations HD crew, hopefully see you on Wednesday!

Check,, the LinkedIn group, follow @3dslondon or email to get on the distribution list.

See you there, kind regards, Simon

n.b. no sparklers please.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

3ds London this Wednesday 1st October

This Wednesday 1st October from 7pm is 3ds London at Truckles. We have two confirmed presentations scheduled:

Daniel Zak is going to talk about his first big job from a couple of years ago, focusing mostly on how not to work as a freelancer... Daniel hopes this will be useful for new artists starting in the field! Daniel's also going to show us what he's working on at the moment.

David Lance has been working hard on Randevú, the follow up to the short he presented at 3ds London back in September 2012. I'm very glad David's coming along to give us a first look and talk about the production. Catch a teaser here, password: max.

Remember, I'm always looking out for presentations! Last month, although not scheduled, the group enjoyed two very slick presentations from Gamma Basra showcasing the work of Foster + Partners visualisation department and Rob Walsh gave us a great insight into PriestmanGoode's work. One of the reasons I think 3ds London works well is because you never know who else is going to be there- but you have to turn up and bring something along!

Check,, the LinkedIn group, follow @3dslondon or email to get on the distribution list.

I'm not promising great weather this month but there will be a pub full of 3ds Max people drinking beer!

See you there, kind regards, Simon

Monday, 1 September 2014

Elmstead & Close @ 3ds London this Wednesday 3rd September

This Wednesday 3rd September from 7pm is 3ds London at Truckles. It's been a few months since everyone's got together so I hope you can make it!

To get things started- Andrei Shah has been coming along to 3ds London for a number of years, firstly as a student at and as a Visualisation Artist at You might have seen Andrei's award- winning 3rd year short, Elmstead & Close. I did, very slick work, and happy then to recognize it was by a 3ds London attendee... I knew I could twist Andrei's arm to make a presentation! As it happened I didn't need to, he was ready to present last month (so he's had an extra few weeks to fine tune his presentation- no pressure Andrei). Always looking for presentations don’t forget! Just bring it along to show everyone on Wednesday or get in touch and arrange a date.

Check,, the LinkedIn group, follow @3dslondon or email to get on the distribution list. Sorry for this month's late notice, holidays / behind the scenes wrangling to blame...

It's going to be warm and sunny (promise) on Wednesday evening so see you there, kind regards, Simon

Sunday, 3 August 2014

No 3dsLondon this August

Hi Everyone,
Unfortunately I've been unable to properly organize a meetup this month; I have to attend a family funeral on Wednesday which has been a priority for the past few weeks.
Hopefully we'll catch the last of the summer sun in Truckles' courtyard in September- should be some great speakers too! I hope everyone has a good break, look forward to catching up then.
Kind regards, Simon

Monday, 30 June 2014

Wednesday 2nd July

This Wednesday 2nd July is 3ds London- England is out the World Cup (boo) so no clashes (yay), the sun will be shining and Truckles has a great courtyard to drink in- plus there’ll be all the usual 3ds Max camaraderie in the basement… sounds wrong but you’ll love it.

This month Raffaele Schiavullo is presenting his virtual reconstruction of the "Villa of Papyri in Herculaneum” which has been, for 7 months, the main attraction at the exhibition "La Villa de los Papiros" at the Casa del Lector Museum in Madrid. I’m looking forward to this, it’s a bit different and a topic Raffaele is both knowledgeable and enthusiastic about.

Raffaele will focus on "Virtual Archaeology" for cultural heritage, showing how he rebuilt an ancient ruin with archival research as guide line and talk about the laser scanning of the original statues from the Villa and making the 3D models of the monument in 3ds Max. Raffaele started his career at the Cultural and Virtual Reality Lab, University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). He has worked as an Art Director and 3D Artist for many educational and cultural projects and was a Professor at the University of Naples teaching Interactive Virtual Reality for Architecture and Industrial Design for eight years.

Always looking for presentations don’t forget! If it’s short just bring it along, if you’re feeling more confident get in touch and arrange a date. Check, follow @3dslondon or email to get on the distribution list. I recently discovered 3ds London has been on Facebook for four years- thanks Sol! So you can check that out too.

See you there, kind regards, Simon

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

3ds Max Team @ 3ds London Wednesday 4th June

Join Autodesk at Truckles for the next 3dsLondon at 7pm on Wednesday 4th June to meet key people from the team behind 3ds Max. Including the Product Manager, Eddie Perlberg. Eddie will give the group an insight into the future roadmap and to gather feedback to help shape the product’s direction. Joining Eddie in London will be Martin Coven, a product designer with considerable production experience across VFX and creature effects, and movie credits at numerous facilities including ILM. 

This unique opportunity will offer a chance to not just hear the plans, but also offer valuable feedback, directly to the relevant team members.

Present from the 3ds Max product team will be:
·        Eddie Perlberg: Senior Product Manager - Design Animation Solutions
o   As Product Manager of 3ds Max and 3ds Max Design, Eddie acts as ambassador for the product development team and is in town to engage with 3ds Max customers, helping identify current and future needs as well as being involved in the shape of the division and industry at Autodesk.
·        Martin Coven: Product Designer - Design Animation Solutions
o   With CFX credits spanning such notable productions as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, War of the Worlds and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, Martin brings incredibly deep production expertise to his role at Autodesk. He'll be in town to visit customers from the broad range of industries that 3ds Max serves and to gather feedback to help drive the product’s roadmap.

Joining Eddie and Martin will be Jamie Gwilliam, Tom Parsons and Alex Horst - your local contacts for all things Autodesk.

Kindly note that due to the nature of the information being shared, Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) may require advance completion.

Follow @3dslondon and

Kind regards, Simon

Friday, 2 May 2014

Carlos Mazon Godoy & Taylor James @ 3ds London Wed 7th May

3ds Max London User Group
From 7pm, Wednesday 7th May
Truckles of Pied Bull Yard

Good news this month! After last month’s hiatus 3ds London returns on Wednesday 7th May at Truckles. The downstairs area has now been booked for our exclusive use for the rest of the year’s meetings, and they’ve sorted out a P.A. for us.

I hope last month’s call for speakers struck a nerve, if you’ve got an interesting project bring it along! If you want to do a more detailed presentation get in touch. To kick off the evening Keith Jeffery and Dave Wortley from always-impressive Taylor James are going to present some recently completed work for Ford, talk tech and give us a sneak peek of a new tool they're developing.

I’m also looking forward to a presentation from Carlos Mazon Godoy. Carlos has freelanced all over London so you might know him, if not check out his site. Carlos is going to go through some of his  very stylish work and talk a bit about how he uses Blender and Cycles in his workflow.

Check, follow @3dslondon or email to get on the distribution list. See you there!

Monday, 31 March 2014

No 3ds London this month, Wed 2nd April

First the bad news- THERE IS NO 3DS LONDON THIS MONTH. I’m disappointed, I think this is the first time it’s been cancelled since November 2010. A misunderstanding with the venue unfortunately, I’ve tried to organize a last minute alternative but it just hasn’t happened, sorry. I’m happy to nominate an alternative pub just for drinks if there’s a flurry of emails and tweets… let me know!

Last month it was noted by everyone that it was difficult (OK, impossible) to hear the presentations. Despite that and this month’s hiccup I think the venue is worth sticking with. Some good news- We’re booked in now for exclusive use of the downstairs for the rest of the year’s events, they’ve sorted out a PA and they’ll stay open until 10pm for us.

We’ve had a run of great 3ds Max speakers for a long time now. Just listing the past six months, we’ve had Analog, Hayes Davidson, Henry Goss, Chaos Group, Factory Fifteen, Vyonyx, Cityscape, Maxwell, John O’Connell and Corona- quite a few traveling a long way, on actual airplanes, to get here. So it's a shame the run's been broken, but there you go, "stuff" happens (special thanks to Taylor James who were going to present this month). What I'd like to do now is secure speakers for the next few events, which is where you come in. Please get in touch if you've got an interesting project to share with the group, the success of the evening depends upon it! If you've been coming along for some time you definitely ought to consider it. Despite occasional problems the group has a friendly regular crowd, it's brilliant for networking, has a very good reputation with speakers and best of all costs nothing to attend. The way to continue supporting 3ds London is to come along and share some work. Think about it?

Definitely see you next month, Wednesday 7th May. Check, follow @3dslondon or email to get on the distribution list.
Kind regards, Simon

Monday, 3 March 2014

Wednesday 5th March

3ds Max London User Group
From 7pm
Truckles of Pied Bull Yard

image: Marcelo Souza

Last month's event at the new venue went well (Nikos Nikolopoulos took some great photos) so we're back at Truckles this month, with more international speakers!

John O'Connell is a Dublin based freelancer, he's going to talk about three projects he's been involved in recently- a digital prosthetics shot from BBC's Ripper Street, a run through of the process of creating oceans and ships in Sky1's Moonfleet and a look at the digital vehicles in Ruairí Robinson's Last Days On Mars. John's a bit of a V-Ray legend on the Chaos Group forums, but he's also going to touch on Naiad, Rayfire and Krakatoa in his presentation.

Adam Hotovy is flying in from the Czech Republic to show the group the latest build of Corona Renderer. There's some great looking imagery being made with Corona at the moment- Adam will be talking about Alpha V6 and giving us an overview of future development (He's also giving 3dsLondoners special access to builds and demo scenes).
Bring along some of your work to share! I'm looking for speakers for April onwards too, if you're interested get in touch. Check out, join the LinkedIn group, subscribe to the mailing list or follow @3dslondon to keep updated.
Sorry for the slightly late notice this month, regards, Simon

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Vyonyx, Cityscape Digital and Maxwell Render at 3dsLondon Wed 5th Feb- NEW VENUE!

Happy New Year! This Wednesday 5th February from 7pm we kick off the first 3dsLondon of 2014 in great style.
First thing to note is a new venue, Truckles of Pied Bull Yard, just around the corner from The Plough (which everyone has been telling me is too small for some time now). It's got a large private space downstairs with a staffed bar and a great space to hang out outdoors (later in the year perhaps).

Our first presenters are Vyonyx. It's always a pleasure to see what Nikolay and his colleagues have been up to! They're also going to talk about their Gobotree project, which looks like a great resource.

Nikos Nikolopoulos is the CGI Director at Cityscape Digital. Nikos is going to present some of their slick-looking projects, rendered with Maxwell.

Finally, the team from Maxwell Render are flying over from Madrid to make a presentation this evening. Juan Cañada, the head of Maxwell Render technology, will be taking us through the new features and highlights of V3 and answering any questions you might have.
Come along and catch up with everyone after the Winter break! I'm especially keen to see what everyone thinks of the new venue so I'd like a great turnout. Bring along some work too!
Check out, join the LinkedIn Group, subscribe to the Mailing List or follow @3dslondon to keep updated. Kind regards, Simon