Warning: Declaration of HSM_PageTitle::load($meta) should be compatible with HSM_Module::load($meta = '') in /homepages/22/d93554086/htdocs/ys/wp-content/plugins/headspace2/modules/page/page_title.php on line 201
Blender » Yekaterina Satanina
Jul 192015

So I’ve brought the little scene into Blender and redid the lighting and materials. I did some research on liquids, refractive materials, and subsurface scattering. Found some good resources and cool people, about whom I shall write later. For now, here’s the progress (Maya/MentalRay on the left, Blender/Cycles on the right):


For now, MentalRay is winning! But I think that might just be because I’m still more comfortable and more familiar with Hypershade than with Blender’s material nodes. However, I have noticed some limitations in Blender. See that nice half-transparent reddish-yellowish rim on the coffee, in the cup, on the left side? That was three simple, self-explanatory settings. Achieving the same effect in Blender, see.. I haven’t gotten there quite yet.

Blender has a pretty limited set of nodes to work with. Granted, you can do a lot with those nodes, but I still find myself wishing for more. Also, for more connections, as Blender’s nodes are limited in their in- and out- connections, whereas MentalRay nodes usually have a lot more to offer. However, Blender does make a couple of things easier. Its shaders are pretty “good to go” out of the box: the glass, glossy, SSS, volume absorption, and translucency are just a few of the really nice ones that require very little tweaking (as opposed to the catch-all mia_material). Also, mixing those materials is very easy, as well.

So I’ll keep working on both. The piece of biscotti still hasn’t been touched beyond simple colors and a basic normal map. And I’m hoping to tweak the lighting and do a little compositing in the end just for some extra appeal.

Jun 272015

Attention: the project page of this website is being updated with the “latest” work. As in, Kat finally has time to devote to her portfolio. Check out the modeling and shading from the Pixar internship projects:


… and the modeling/set dressing from Small Choices, Big Impact:


Apr 072014

Straight from Wikipedia: one of the nicknames for a helicopter in the English language is “whirlybird.”

I made a whirlybird! Specifically, a Sikorsky Blackhawk, for my friend Mark Logan. His film ARC will premiere at Rochester Institute of Technology, during spring screenings, in May. Check out the film’s Facebook page!

The task was to create a 10-second shot of a realistic helicopter moving into the frame and hovering in mid-air. Mark approached me at the beginning of last fall, asking if I would be up for the job. At that time, after a summer of working at RIT Production Services, I was very comfortable with Blender’s Cycles rendering system, and made the decision to tackle this project in Blender. I also still prefer Blender’s tools for hard-surface modeling over Maya’s (I love Maya for just about anything else, except caustics).

So many months later, here it is, from modeling to compositing, created in Blender and AfterEffects.




Mark’s film is intense. Check it out. I can’t wait to see it finished. And I really hope that my part in it works with the rest.

Mar 292014

Last winter, I was hired by RIT Production Services. One of the luckiest things to happen to me in college. I am so very fortunate to be getting a production studio experience while taking classes.

At Production Services, I do a variety of tasks, ranging from concept art and design to 3D animation to visual effects. Every once in a while, have to track a camera. But for the most part, it’s a lot of fun! I work directly with the graphics manager and my student coworkers – graphic designers, motion graphics artists, video editors, and visual effects specialists. I also interact with the directors and sometimes contribute to meetings.

For 3D graphics, we primarily use Blender and AfterEffects. We just got Cinema 4D, and for my most current project I am learning the ropes of that!

Disclaimers: None of this material belongs to me. I do not own SportsZone, SZ Live HD, or any other name mentioned in the reel. I merely do the graphics. Not everything in the reel was done by me. For a breakdown with roles and contributors, go to the YouTube page of the reel. The music is “Wolf Like Me” by TV on the Radio. I do not own that either, using for non-commercial purposes only.

In other news, I finally caught up with culture and watched Frozen last night. Oh, man… So pretty. Such acting. So much work. Such hope for getting hired in the future.

Sep 182013

Sometimes I make things at work.


Sometimes I really like my job.

(Blender and AfterEffects, 2.5 hours, for RIT Production Services, to be used in the SportsZone Live animated hockey intro as a background for a total of about 2 seconds. Forgive the noise, not enough samples for the quick render.)