Out in the real world, we all have hobbies and interests in addition to the work we may be most known for. Here at Renderosity, our vendors have their own stories to tell. Things they do away from their products... special projects, awards, citations, or things of interest that most may not know about.
In an effort to better introduce our vendors to the rest of the community, we've asked them to tell us more about themselves, and share their stories. Rather than a straightforward interview, these are their stories, in their own words.
This week, we find out all about artist and vendor, John Hoagland, better known to the community as JHoagland, as well as founder of VanishingPoint.
My name is John and I started making digital artwork on an Apple II back in the 1980's. The first images I created were using the "lo res graphics" which only had a resolution of 39x39 pixels and each pixel was about half-an-inch wide! Back then, there were no paint or 3d programs, so I actually had to write my own software to draw colored lines on the screen. Although I enjoyed this challenge, I quickly learned that home computers didn't have the graphics resolution to make images to match my ideas. I later switched to an Apple IIGS and started using a paint program to make images.
I always enjoyed drawing and sketching, but I could never draw people- they always came out looking like blobby stick people! In fact, I still remember getting marked down on some school assignments because my cityscapes didn't include people. I figured not being able to draw people would probably hurt an art career, so I went into programming.
I started using modern graphics software around 1999, when I picked up Ray Dream Studio, Bryce, and Poser. Some of my earlier images were barely beyond rendered models on a photo background. I learned what I could and couldn't do with the software I was using, so a lot of my images back then were humorous or comic-book style images. In fact, some of my older images are still in the Renderosity gallery:
As I learned how to use Poser, I created my own tutorial website to share what I had learned: JCH Digital Designs http://www.cocs.com/poser/index.htm
The tutorials ranged from explaining some basics of Poser, such as listing some common terms and using transparency maps, to more advanced tutorials on making models and rigging them in Poser.
In 2003, I started developing my own distinct character, called Tabby, which was based on the Vicky 2 model by DAZ. The first version of the character was created in 2003. The next version was created in 2007, which had short hair and glasses. I further refined the character's face, enlarged the glasses, and used a more complex skin shader.
In late 2003, I started using Lightwave and learned how to make models. I started with the Police Box from Doctor Who (which is basically a bunch of boxes), and then moved on to more complex models, such as Star Wars vehicles. In fact, I was the first person to make an X-Wing Fighter, B-Wing Fighter, AT-AT, and other Star Wars vehicles that were fully rigged for use in Poser.
As I gained experience, I made more models that I would use in my own artwork, such as helicopters, aircraft, cars, and buildings. In fact, one of my first helicopters was a Bell 222 with a free add-on to turn it into Airwolf.
In 2004, I founded my own company (and website) called Vanishing Point (http://www.vanishingpoint.biz), to provide content to the Poser community. Al Reed (mrsparky) and Helgard de Barros helped me found Vanishing Point, and both of them have gone on to create their own successful Poser websites. Along the way, I partnered with many content providers, such as Gunpoint 3D, DeEspona Infografica, and Digimation Model Bank.
My artwork has been displayed in a number of physical galleries, including Otronicon (a convention for digital arts and video games, held at the Orlando Science Center), Jacksonville Beach Art Festival, San Marco Beach Art Festival, Sawgrass Village Art Festival, Lake Mary Art Festival, and more.
In March 2010, my JCH Digital Designs website celebrated its 10 year anniversary. I could hardly believe it had been a decade since I uploaded the first pages.
Also in 2010, Smith Micro celebrated the anniversary of the Poser software with an image contest. I created an image called "Poser Evolution" for the category that shows how Poser had changed over the years. My image showed the Poser figures, from the Poser 2 male to the Poser 8 male crossing the street, in an homage to the Beatles' "Abbey Road". And I won first place in this category.
And in February 2014, my Vanishing Point site (http://www.vanishingpoint.biz/) celebrated its 10 year anniversary!
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