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About Us

al-lus-sion: 1 : the act of alluding or hinting at 2 : an implied or indirect reference

Our Mission
To provide CG artist and professionals the tools and expertise to advance in their craft and a friendly environment to learn and grow as artist.

The name of 3DAllusions ties into architecture and the picturesque movement while referencing the process of digitally creating 3D environments. My architectural thesis focused on what I called 'Neo Classical Revisionism' it was a very conservative flavor of Post Modernism with forms, elements and spatial hierarchies abstracted within the context of contemporary materials and construction techniques. The essence was ‘Regionalism’ or ‘Sense of Place’, where public places and urban context could be flavored with intuitive essences of other places, to ‘Allude’ to certain experiences and places our collective mind recognizes with fondness. An allusion hints at something real, it has substance, an illusion has no substance and hence I used a play on words. Allusions have meaning; they are capturing the essence of a particular or possible reality and thus ties into our motto of ‘Visualizing Possibilities’

3DAllusions started out as a personal online portfolio back in April of 2000. Back then CG Architect was one of the only sites focusing on architectural visualization and the other sites I visited tended to be very poor places to show off architectural renderings, so I started the forum using phpBB for online friends and acquaintances, it was not, nor is it now, intended for architectural visualization only, however for the most part that is the type of artist who has been attracted to the site. The forum started to grow; soon I was putting industry news and tutorials on the front page of my site. Eventually it became weird to have my personal portfolio on the site so we the site was transformed into a CG portal and we switched to professional forum software. Now that I have left architecture to pursue visualization and the sites full time, I had to create an online portfolio for the new projects and studio endeavor, hence the creation of Hence, the whole process has come full circle in a way.

Russell Thomas (a.k.a. TheAllusionist) is the founder and CEO of 3DAllusions LLC, which is comprised of multiple projects from communities to a visualization studio that he has created and runs.  A graduate of Washington State University’s School of Architecture, Russell worked for 15 years in the field of architecture, wearing many hats and project managing accounts such Barnes & Noble. During a large portion of this time he was involved in CG and architectural visualization as well.  In 2007 he left the field of architecture to pursue his visualization related projects full time.

In April of 2000 3DAllusions ( was started, primarily as an online portfolio with a forum for like minded artists.  Soon the portfolio was taken over by a full blown site with news, competitions, galleries and resources.  The forum has steadily grown and now has sponsored quarterly challenges and is recognized worldwide.

Eventually the online portfolio evolved into 3DA Studio (, a visualization studio comprised of an affiliation of handpicked artists. As CEO and Creative Director, as well as an artist when the need arises, Russell handles the day-to-day operations and client negotiations.

The next site created, MrMaterials (, is a mental ray materials repository and Blog that Jeff Patton has been an invaluable part of from the beginning.  The site is a respected asset to mental ray community, especially for 3DS Max users.

The latest experiment, DigitalSweatShop (, is a professional networking site similar to ‘FaceBook’ or ‘LinkedIn’ for employers, professionals and artist to seek employment, freelancing and collaboration opportunities.  The site is still in its infancy and is free to join, post example works, resume’s and employment positions on.

From an artist rendering out clients visions to a CEO running a small online empire, aimed at promoting the growth of the industry and helping artist/professionals master their craft, Russell is involved in the full spectrum of the visualization industry.

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