How did you get started in 3D Graphics?
I think I would have to say it was Christmas 1998 when I got Poser 3 and absolutely loved it. I didn't even know that it existed. I had some experience before that with Metacreation's Logomotion and loved that too. That program really got me excited about 3D. You could move the camera through the letters and animate a cool logo with chrome and different lights. I guess that was my start and from then on I was an addict. How long have you been working with 3D Graphics?
Roughly, I would say about 8 years. Do you have any formal training?
Nope. I've just been playing all this time. I benefit from the generous knowledge of others that have pioneered the grounds before me. The internet is the best training for me, I can learn what I want to, practice what I want to improve, and search out exactly what I want to learn. Your forum has been invaluable too since I've tried getting into figure development. I can't ask anyone I know how to do this or that in making a poser character, most tuts were vague or simplified too much, so I would post the question in the Poser forum and it was like 24 hour tech support from around the globe. You just can't beat that! What software do you use for product development?
At first it was just Photoshop, Poser, and Cinema 4D for test renders. Now I'm using those programs plus Z-Brush 2 to help with seams. Z-Brush is invaluable now and I can't imagine working without it. How much time is required for product development?
At the very least, 2 weeks. And that would be working over 12 hours a day on a texture. Can you give a brief overview of your development cycle for a new product?
Usually I will start by having Photoshop and Z-brush opened at the same time and bang away. Testing it constantly to make sure all is being placed where it should be. I'll work it one map at a time, the body is what takes the longest with working out the seams. Z-Brush helps with this because you can go over the seam while it's mapped on the object. Z-brush does tend to put artifacts in and change the texture so I make sure to always have the original and save the corrected parts out of Z-brush as a different file and drag those portions back to the photoshop original file. Now the map has jagged edges and I go in real tight in Photoshop and use the rubberstamp to drag those colors a little further out beyond the edge of the map so when it lays on the model there are no seams. After I am content with all the maps jiving and blended properly, the next phase is doing quick renders in Cinema 4D. Cinema 4D helps me see how everything is working together and I use amazone's plugin so the MAT file I've created can be used. After a few renders I may find things that need changing. Most times, there is a few things so it's back to the drawing board. Finally, after all is working fine and dandy with the texture, It's time to go to Poser and create some poses that I like. Maybe some expressions to go with those poses. Then once the poses are created and perhaps some expressions, I'll apply them and export them so I can render them in Cinema 4D. I've always liked how it looks and try not to mislead with too many HDR renders. I'll just use an even white luminated sphere to render most of the shots and maybe just one or two using a custom HDR that I've made that lights the model from the side and adds a bit of drama. Cinema 4D takes 10minutes usually to render and reports it's time. So I can work with it and have greater control than I can with Poser. I think Cinema 4D can show better detail with a lot less work so I choose to use it for most of my rendering. I've heard that some people complain that I should do my rendering in Poser since that is the market I am targeting. But in my opinion, I am trying to display a texture that I've created in the best light that I can pull off. I am not selling Poser or features of it but am selling a product that can look this way. The best way I can show off this product is by these means. Similar or better renders can be done with products now available but it will require some work on the users behalf in rendering department. Default Poser lighting and rendering will be quite a disappointment. Where does your inspiration come from when developing new products?
I will give the usual answer and say it is all around me. But I will go a little further and say that I try to pump myself with it too. I may take a break from textureing and long hours on the computer to go paint an actual tangible model and while doing this may have a behind the scenes dvd going. I love watching how other people do visual things and derive a great deal of inspiration from it. Do you have any advice for aspiring Digital Content Developers?
I would just say, take your time with it. Learn as you go. Be discriminant with what you release because it reflects on you. Try and stay with what inspires you as a person and not what will make a quick buck. I think you'll have better results if you stay in your area of desire. How has Renderosity's on-line community played a role in regards to your products, friendships and learning?
Tons!! Most of my friends that I have contact with have little knowledge of the virtual world and what we're into. I have a hard time talking "shop" with them or getting suggestions and inspiration. I've met a lot of wonderful people here over the years that are of the same cloth. People that get their kicks from feeding their imagination and trying to show that through renders and talk. And as I mentioned above, the forums with all their priceless advice can't be rivaled because so few know the answers. And if there is a question that isn't immediately answered by someone, they actually go and find one for you! How can you ask for anything more than that? Do you have any final words?
Thank You for this honor. I will do my best to deliver my best in the future to this community. I am amazed, shocked, flattered, and excited to be here!!! Please, if I can help you, or you have a question for me, IM me here or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to see my personal website, you can find it here. www.expressionimage.com
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