Lesen Sie das mit mir geführte INTERVIEW durch 3D Art Direct
Read the INTERVIEW conducted with me in Direct 3D Art
INTERVIEW with 3D Art Direct Magazine in 2011
Q. From your renderosity bio you mentioned you started drawing and oil painting – traditional art mediums. Have you managed to take advantage of certain traditional art skills in your digital art work and if so, what are they?
Hmmm…, I think the imagination and an “eye” for the composition of a scene.
Q. You obviously have a huge passion for digital art and you frequently post your work in Renderosity as well as on your own website. How did you get started with digital art. Was Bryce your first 3D application?
Early in 2001 from a friend of mine which has known that I liked to draw with my computer I got the info about a software to create 3d scenes and pictures. So I purchased Bryce 4.0 and Poser 4 a bit later. I don’t like to study instruction manuals, so I tried to learn the software by doing or try and error. With Bryce – in opposite to Poser - it hasn’t been a problem for me to understand the functions and the handling of the software easily. So I worked with Bryce and learned to love it , and placed Poser into a lower drawer for some years .. lol. Meanwhile I’m more familiarized with Poser, but I still don’t love it.
Q. What were some of your initial challenges in creating digital art and how did you overcome these challenges?
Beside the handling of all the functions of the software the mainly challenge has been to think tridimensional. For instance: In a 3-d-software like Bryce you work with 3d-objects on an endless ground area. If you will create a 3d-scene with anything in the foreground you should not forget the background – maybe for instance a mountain - to give your picture the necessary deepness. And to let the scene look realistic, it’s much better to place the mountain object deep enough far in the background. It’s better than to let the mountain near the foreground and make him only small to show the deepness.
Q. Were there some digital artists that you first looked up to, when you started out? Who were they and what did you like about their work?
- Andy Simmons alias Hobbit – from my pov the Master par excellence
- Bill ?? alias Primaltruck / Primal - Poser master
- David Robinson alias BamBam131 – creates space ships in a masterful way
Q. In your view what are the top two strengths of Bryce? Is there an area that Bryce could improve in?
- Easy handling of the functions (in comparison to other software) to get quick and good results for newcomer.
- Easy possibility to create simple 3d-objects to work with inside Bryce.
- The export functions of self created 3d-objects into other 3d-formats
- The stability of Bryce when you create a very complex scene – sometimes it crashes and your scene is damaged.
- A better function to create stars in the night skies – the actual function is much to crude for fine small stars ( that’s the reason most of my sf pictures with stars the stars are created as postwork with another software (Universe).
Q. Have you done artwork for your daughter’s sci-fi novels? Has some of her work inspired your images?
I have created nearly all of her book covers together with her ( she has her own ideas how a cover should look … lol).
I think my daughter has been inspired mainly by my interest (and the interest of my wife too) in Science Fiction to write a sf novell as her first one. :o)
Q. You gain support for your artwork from your family as well as the Renderosity community. Has this support and feedback carried your artwork further than you first imagined?
Yep, mainly my family supported me to decide sometimes which version of a picture would be the best. Also they supported me to make pictures of other genres – not only sf as I have done first.
Q. You’ve mentioned that inspiration for a new piece of artwork can often start with a new object and grow from this – including a story around the object, which can sometimes turn into a picture series. What’s your favourite series you’ve done so far – and tell me why it is your favourite.
Hmm…., very difficult for me to choose…..
Basicly I love all my artwork in the same way….
OK, “wonders of the universe” I like very well. I’m a hobby astronomer and tried to show some areas of the universe in such way you can’t see with the equipment of a hobby astronomer.
That applies to a lot of my “Robot-pictures too. I show them in similar situations like humans.
Ahh…, and the “living on the rocks”, which shows spectacular points to live, not always a commendable place to build up a house…. lol
It’s sooo difficult to name a favourite!
Q. You’ve created quite a comprehensive website, including your portfolio as well as various objects, textures and terrains for sale. What has proved your most popular items for sale so far?
The Bryce-applications I sell via DAZ (the home of Bryce) – I’m a DAZ published artist for Bryce terrains, materials, scenes, skies.
Q. I’ve noticed you’ve also created some Facebook games. Tell me about this – how do they promote your artwork?
I have delivered lots of pictures for some games at facebook, which are coded by a Canadian partner . Till now I can’t see any mentionable promotion to sell my artwork. But I had to “enter virgin soil” by creating lot of characters mainly for “Galacticium” and for “Garden Path” with my unloved Poser – have learned a lot how to manipulate characters in Poser now, which I can use within Bryce for my pictures to give them more “life”. The most important game is “Galacticium”.It is still under development and not online till now. We think, “Galacticium” will be a highlight under the facebook games. The other games where I have delivered pictures have been more “training games” for the coding and development of “Galacticium.
Q. You’ve created a “Somewhere on Mars” series. What prompted you to start this series? Is there a story in this series of 3 images?
As I told before I’m a big SF fan, mainly for classic SF like the stories from Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, MZB and a lot of other authors including the German SF Series “Perry Rhodan”.
Do we really get all pictures which NASA or ESA have shot on Mars? :o).
Imagine, that there has been a high developed civilization on Mars long ago before humans have conquered the Earth. And now we can find – when we are able to go to Mars with Astronauts in reality - artifacts on Mars from them.
Q. “Shining Wings”. This is an angel type figure placed in front of a blue background. I presume Bryce has a native import for DAZ 3D studio figures. Do you find the import quite reliable and does Bryce allow a figure to be posed again, once imported? (This is something that Vue allows with Poser, but takes a lot of memory to do this!).
The only acceptable way to import characters with good looking hair like for instance a nice woman from Poser into Bryce is via the DAZ Studio software. If you create a character and change the base poses of the character in Poser it sometimes will be reposed in the DAZ Studio. So you have to give the character the pose which you want, again by DAZ Studio and then export into Bryce. Or you create the character directly in DAZ Studio and export it into Bryce. If it’s imported into Bryce you can’t change the pose of the character. So you have to think about the pose before import.
If you export the above mentioned woman from Poser as a 3d object f.e. as obj or 3ds file and import such file into Bryce the hair looks like made by a plastic clump. You can use that only for such scenes where the characters are so small that you can see any difference. But it’s of course a much easier and faster way to get the woman into Bryce.
However, you can only change the textures and the size of the imported object, not the poses.
Q. “Galactic Cities - Frigoris City”. You’ve mentioned that you are a reader – does some of your inspiration come from the classic sci-fi illustrators of books? Such as Jim Burns, Peter Elson or Chris Moore?
Yep, of course. From books, TV-series like Star Trek, movies like Starwars, 2001, LoTR (for fantasy) and others. I have collected more than 1000 sf and fantasy novels now. And I have been very inspired by the artwork of Chris Foss.
Q. “Mysterious Construction 1 – Brown” . You mention that the model was constructed with "GoBoTo”, a modelling package – would you recommend using this? What do you like about this software?
I have just started to discover the functions of Groboto. You can get very fast some interesting “mysterious” 3d objects ( I think much easier as with other software) and export them in the usual file formats to import them into Bryce or other software.
Basically I have to admit that I have sometimes a bit trouble by the language to understand some functions – that depends not only to Groboto, nearly all software is only in English and English is not so familiar for me like my own language-.
Q. “Asteroid Belt”. How did you create the asteroid belt in this image?
The belt is a sphere from Bryce, the ice boulders are a lattice object ( you can create such lattice objects with Bryce) and the texture of the ring is made with Bryce too ( I used a texture that I often use for space scenes with a nebular in the background.
Q. “Unicorn Bay” and “Humphrey”. You create fantasy images as well as Science Fiction, what are some of your favourite creations under your fantasy genre?
All pictures with Unicorns, dinosaurs, angels, fairies and elfs, I love them all
Q. “Lady of the month” is your most viewed image from your Renderosity gallery. This is a good concept in showing 2D images in a 3D space. Were you pleased with how this turned out?
I never understood why this picture has so much more views like my other pictures. I often have thought that somebody must have hacked Renderosity in the time I have posted that image. In this time I have found pictures that got more than 10.000 views…, seemed a bit unbelievable.
Q. “President’s Visit” is your most commented image. It has plenty of attention to detail – is this your most complex render you’ve done, with the most amount of imported objects?
One of them, but I think the “Galactic Cities” scenes like “Terranium City” or pictures with lot of robots like “Galactic Empire – Alpha Base” or “Posbi-City – western district” have very much imported objects.
Basically the rendertime in Bryce is defined by the complexity of difficult objects like trees with lot of leaves or needles in combination with different light sources. This can be “deadly” for the rendertime. Of course the resolution of the scene is important too. And not to forget the power of your PC.
Q. “Living on the Rocks” series. This shows off “sculptured” rocks with the buildings sitting on top of them. Are you pleased with the functions Bryce has to manipulate landscapes? Are there any improvements you would make to this part of Bryce?
I have heard that landscapes done with Terragen or Vue are looking more realistic, but I have no correct comparison between these software and Bryce.
In fact I don’t miss some additional functions in Bryce at moment.
Q. “Somewhere in this galaxy”. I’ve noticed one character you use fairly frequently in your images is the DAZ “Droid”. Is this one of your favourite characters?
Yep, indeed, I love robots and androids. I sometimes can create situations for the character which a real human should not do. But mostly I show them in humanlike situations like in “we want you” or “the gentleman” or “blowin’ in the wind” a.s.o.
Q. “Cracked Rocks” Great surrealistic image that includes a good mood and atmosphere. The rock texture is interesting and the figures are composed nicely. Many of the artists we’ve interviewed have mentioned that they spend most time on composition and lighting for an image– is this the case with you?
Sometimes, but not in any case. Often I need more time to find the right sky or texture to let the scene look as realistic as possible.
Q. “Seahorse Rock”. Was this rock manipulated especially or was it a lucky find using a procedural method for creating the landscape?
It has been a lattice rock object I have bought years ago. It has been a lucky find indeed. I have seen the analogy during the creation of the scene (I have played around with some rock objects to create a scene with a sailship in the background- I love sailships and all movies like “Pirates of the Caribbean”) and then I have changed the name of the picture to the final version.
Q. What are three of your personal favourite images you have created? What did you learn from creating them and what inspired you to create them?
Uhhh….., only three ??? Mostly the newest creation is my favourite…. :o)
In earnest, by looking at more than 1000 pictures I have no chance to find out 3 favourites.
Basically I have an affinity to dark and dimly or melancholic pictures. “Nessie’s supper” or “Bear’s Shangri Lah” are such pictures I like very much.
And of course “dark viewing pictures give the possibility to play with light effects, stars a.s.o.
Basically I try to show “the light in the darkness” to give hope for our future. I’m a spiritual man and hope that the light will cast out the shadows in our life. That’s the reason for some of my “morbid” pictures like for instance “kid soldier”, “apocalypse now-a morning in paradise” or “where have all the flowers gone” too, they shall wake.
Q. What aspect of your artwork would you like to improve upon next?
I want to be able to create 3d-objects with software like Carrara or Hexagon
Q. Finally what three tips would you give to those who are just starting out with 3D digital art?
- If you are not a professional artist and will sell your artwork, create your pictures mainly for yourself and for your own pleasure – the real beauty lies in your own point of view.
- Don’t pay to much attention to comments in any graphic communities – a lot of them are pure complaisance and don’t give a realistic view of the quality of the commented work.
- Adhere to copyrights of other artists. If you want to use things from other artists, ask him or her before using them.
Editor 3D Art Direct Magazine