April's Featured Contributor - hmann
I am a musician and musical arranger that has a stronge passion for 3d as well. When I was in my late teens I was sort of a prodigy guitar player in my native country..New Zealand. At that time I was considered the foremost guitar player in that country, and was part of several bands that had live and chart success. I travelled to the US some years ago to record an album with a band I was in and also was offered session work in New York at that time. Later I became involved in recording more and more and gradually became involved in using computers to help me create and arrange music of all types from orchestral to metal to hip hop. Currently I have a pretty extensive recording setup with digital and analogue mixers and a lot of midi based outboard gear and valve microphones etc.etc.. I teach advanced guitar and music theory as well on a day to day basis. I am also a fully trained mural artist that used to do large photographic airbrush murals in musuems and the like, and because of my long history in art as well and interst in computers, 3d became a natural progression.
How long have you have you been rendering?
I have probably been rendering about 4 years at least. I bought Ray Dream Studio (before Fractal took it over)and got a passion for 3d, I mainly concentrated on modeling, lighting and texture mapping.
What are you currently working on?
Currently I am experimenting with the original Jimi 3d afro hair, my plan is to rebuild it into an extremely versatile hair for Poser figures. I would try to make it for all the main models male and female. However it is a pretty daunting task and I still need some time to feel out how long it will take and wether I have the time to really do it the way I want to. (it could probably take a few months)
What software do you use and why?
I use Carrara, Truespace 5, UV Mapper, Amapi, Painter 6 with all Kai plug ins, Poser and Bryce (occassionaly) I use Painter mainly for the 2d work...I am a big fan of Painter because I love it's versatility and sheer power ...its kind of like the "Maya" of 2d programs. Carrara is pretty nice, the spline modeler is very very good for architectural stuff and some free form modeling as well, generally it needs some more bug stomping though and better vertex level modeling. Truespace 5 is nice (but I am still a bit of a novice on it) it's modeling seems to be good though. I dont think I'll use it's nurbs though because when you convert to poly's there is very little control. Amapi? ..well very powerful and does fantastic subdivisions and geometry, but I am still struggling with the interface.
My main goal at the moment is to get better at modeling in terms of human heads and so on.
Why do you like 3D art?
I think because I find it challenging and relaxing. I used to love animating and I did an animation that Metacreations used at Siggraph as their foremost animation for their 3d software. (It took a whole year and it was done on Ray Dream Studio) But now I am really keen to become better at modeling so I have put animating on the back burner. 3d is so comprehensive it's very very time consuming and can take years to master it (If at all!) I plan to put a gallery up in my upcoming Renderosity website showing some of my previous renders and animations as well.
What inspires you?
Thats a hard one, I think I am inspired by the artists that constantly are pushing their abilities to the next level. Guys like Taron De (he uses Lightwave)..his work is wonderful...he is very very talented, Bill Flemmings stuff is really good as well and I know a few unknowns that model in Maya and Soft that are just amazing. I like Geigers (I think thats how you spell it) work as well, more the style than the content though. I also think some of the contributors at Renderosity are great as well. Some of Syyds work is very nice and Catharina's also. At the end of the day though my current fascination is with the combination of modeling and texture mapping.
How has this online community (Renderosity) enhanced your work, relationships, and learning?
Well it's been amazing, at first it was kind of an impersonal experience in that I just put up a few models and people bought them and things cruised on in that way. But Total Hair changed all that, because after I did the update I was swamped with emails from people saying how happy they were with it and appreciated the effort and so on. It was a very uplifting experience because you realize that you are dealing with people, not just numbers and names. I think online communities are great and possibly the future of ecommerce..because it takes that impersonal element out of things and restores that human contact. I have very strong feelings on this, I really believe Metacreations failed because they became impersonal and dealt with their user base and employees impersonally and gradually they crumbled because of that. Ironically many of the people that did actually care about the user base (like Antoine Clappier) are now running their own companies. So I would like to thank all those people that have bought the Total hair packages and Looks Like Jimi and the Guitar packs and I hope I can bring you models and textures in the future that make your Poser work more pleasurable. Also thanks to the Renderosity satff as well Tammy, Yvette, and Jenifer and others that have been so helpful.