Each month the Renderosity community votes on the Renderosity Artist Of The Month [AOM] ... December's AOM is Phillip Drawbridge [drawbridgep]!
Who is 'drawbridgep'?
When I first started playing in Bryce I needed inspiration and help and was searching around and found Renderosity. I created drawbridgep as an obvious username and just stuck with it for everything. It's not cool or trendy, it's just my name (and first initial).
As for the real drawbridgep, my name is Phillip Drawbridge. I'm an English ex-pat living in Indiana in America's midwest. I work for Half Price Books in northern Indianapolis and spend most of my off time staring at a blank Carrara screen. I'm also a photographer and have a gallery here under drawbridgephoto.
How long have you been working in digital art?
Since before computers were invented. It feels like it anyway. I did use a program before Bryce but can't remember the name of it now. Something like 3DFX (maybe someone will remember), but that was before the GPU manufacturer. So, probably 20 years now. I switched to Bryce on version 3 when it was free on a magazine or something and never really looked back. Early models used primitives and then I found Wings3D. I switched to Carrara as a trial back in 2006, but the pure rendering speed and a few things that were missing from Bryce (HDRI, quick soft shadows, caustics) made the trial a permanent switch.
Do you have any traditional art experience?
I studied Art and Computer Science for my A-Levels. So, digital art was in my future even before I knew about it. I don't often pick up a pencil now, but could probably tell what to do with the sharp end.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently in between projects. I don't even have a blank screen running. I liked doing my Star Trek fan pictures and I'm thinking about Star Wars now. There are a wealth of designs out there for Star Wars. I'll probably stick to episodes 4,5 and 6. I'm also thinking about a new space ship design that I can sell. The last one I created did really well, so people seem to need that kind of thing.
What is in your digital toolset and why?
Software-wise I use Wings3D because it's FREE. I have played with the bigger apps. I'm a published artist at DAZ and so got really good deals on Hexagon and Carrara. I've played with Hex but keep coming back to Wings. I'm just comfortable with it I guess. I will say to anyone trying it and giving up, to stick with it. I tried it and failed and then tried and tried again, and eventually it just clicked. It's sometimes quirky, but it does everything I need really very well.
I do keep up to date with Bryce, but don't render in it often. Carrara is my main program. There's a member here called draculaz (older Bryce members will know him) who has a very smiliar artistic mentality to me and we would share ideas. He switched from Bryce to Carrara and convinced me to try it. Although the interface is different to Bryce, it has a very similar feel, and it doesn't take long to get up and running in it. Once I saw the render time for a simple scene was seconds for something that would take Bryce minutes, I was hooked.
Hardware-wise I don't have anything special. I have a hand-me-down Wacom tablet that was my wife's. She's also a digital artist and photographer, but mostly in Photoshop and so makes more use of the tablet. She has a gallery here under the name papergirl. Unlike me, she made the jump and turned her art into her career.
I use Photoshop too. Mostly for creating textures and postworking the art.
What do you think your best piece of work is and why?
That varies from day to day. I'm very proud of my recent pieces. I had a few printed in 3dWorld last month, so have a softspot for them. But there are a few older pieces I like too. Anything with my Steampunk submarine. I think my most viewed piece is of old books I rendered in Carrara, so I guess people like that one best. It's a good image, but I think I could do it better now.
Who, or what, inspires you?
I try to look through the Renderosity gallery every day and always find a piece of art that makes me go WOW. Stuff I would never have thought of doing. People always push the program further than I thought it could go. Right now, my main inspiration is Stephan Martiniere. I just love his sense of scale and use of colours in a genre that's typically devoid of it. Which is a change for me. I used to be all about the dark coldness of space. I'm also inspired by pretty much every sci-fi movie since the 50's. Star Trek, of course, but also the Alien films. The Valley Forge from Silent Running is a great ship I keep brushing on. Working in a bookstore means I come across a lot of bad science fiction covers on bad sci-fi books. But there are the occasional gems that give me inspiration. Not to mention that the bad ones make me think "I could totally do better than that," but I'm still waiting for the call from Del-Ray.
What do you enjoy most about Carrara?
The speed of workflow and rendering is amazing. In Bryce (and I love Bryce, although I keep comparing it against Carrara) you have to be pretty sure that your scene is how you want it rendered before you hit the button. Bryce just takes so long to render and then you find out that you need to move an object slightly to the left and tweak a light down. In Carrara, you can render a pretty complex scene in a minute and so there's no commitment. This speeds up the entire process. Also, I love Carrara's handling of HDRI and lighting in general. I'm just starting to play with it's physics engine and it's simply amazing. Carrara, like Bryce, is looked down on by the industry, but Bryce is the most fun and Carrara can do a lot of the same things as the big boys.
Do you have any tips you would be willing to share on the software?
This might sound like I'm sucking up, but the Forum here is the best I've come across. There are people at every skill level and you can ask questions without fear of being made to look like an idiot. Some members of some forums have a very "holier-than-thou" attitude. That rarely happens in R'osity. So, my biggest tip for using Carrara would be to ask questions in the forum. If there's something you wonder if Carrara can do, someone in the forum will have tried it, or will know how to try it.
How has this online community (Renderosity) enhanced your work, relationships, and learning?
Oh, I kind of answered this one in the last question. The enhancements of my work are immeasurable. I wouldn't be using Wings or Carrara if it wasn't for Renderosity. I wouldn't have had work published in a magazine. I wouldn't have sold models. It's unlikely I would be doing graphic art at all. As for the members of the forums (Bryce and Carrara) there are no other forums with people like them.
Do you have any parting comments, or advice for other artists?
Don't create art to try and impress other people. Just create what you want to create and do it for fun. Don't be afraid to post your art to the galleries and don't be afraid to ask questions.
We invite you to have a further look at drawbridgep's Renderosity Gallery!
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You can also follow Phillip on:
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Artist of the Month is highlighting a talented Renderosity artist that has been nominated by mods and admins, and voted by the community. Recognition is given to this member for their collection of works for that year.
Since we only select one AOM per month, it is not about their works for that particular month. Instead, it is about highlighting a talented artist's works for that year, and they are recognized during that month.
To learn more about Renderosity's Artist Of The Month [AOM] award, and to view our past AOM's, please visit the AOM page, which can also be found on the sidebar under Highlights.