Richard has been a Renderosity member since 2001, with a gallery filled with an abundance of imaginative Sci-Fi works, and a store here on Renderosity that exemplifies his skills as a 3D modeller. His Sci-Fi work has graced DVD covers of Imagine FX, and has regularly appeared on Sci-Fi Weekly. A man of many talents, which also includes writing, play-acting, and teaching, I very much enjoyed getting to know more about him and his work.
Who is rj001 and how did you come by that username?
rj001 - um not a great mystery: rj (richard jeferies - thats me) 001 (number 1). I know, not original, but it's me. Renderosity was my first on-line forum way, way back and I could not see myself with a nick such as Screaming-dagger-blood or Worlds-of-Pus.
Primarily, I currently use Autocad products for 3d modelling, unless I am entering the Bryce Forum challenges when I use Bryce 6 as my modelling medium. For renders, it is Bryce only, maybe with some Paintshop postwork if neccessary. I create my texture templates in Paintshop.
Have you had any traditional or digital art instruction, or are you self-taught?
How long have you been a member here on Renderosity, and when did you start submitting products to the MarketPlace?
I joined Rendo way, way back in 2001. It took me a long while to be confident enough to put up a product in the marketplace...about 2003. And in fact, one of my first products 'The ruined City Scene' still sells (I only just lost the other early product to Warehouse as well). In the early days they were bryce-only models, but now I primarily sell 3DS models (sometimes with a bryce version bundled in).
What do you feel is key to becoming successful as a vendor? Do you have any tips for those with an interest in selling here?
Yes, I have found my greatest success has come from keeping it simple and cheap. Always try to be original and distinctive. But mostly, sell it at as low a cost as possible. It may be nice to sell a couple of models at $20 each, but sell them at $5 and you'll sell many, many more.
It is great to see you are also an author! When did you first realize your talent for the written word? Are you currently working on any other books?
That came from school. I always enjoyed reading, and writing became the next natural step, though I am still a hacker at it and have yet to have the big-breakthrough.
Looking at the two books you have for sale, I was intrigued by "Nelsons Blood Play and Vignettes" especially after reading the introduction on how this work came about. Have you yourself done a lot of performing? Have you had any recent inquiries by others to perform any of these works?
Again, my theatrical connections came at an early age (I was one of the soldiers trying to fix Humpty Dumpty in a local production while still at primary school). Following that as a teenager, my artistic skills helped me develop 3d effects like doors and windows on sets. Then, on to singing and performing, which I still do - I have just finished producing, writing, directing and singing our local singing group's show at our Island theatre. Next, I am hoping to put on a production of Yasmina Reza's play ART, with myself in a lead role and directing. After all, the whole concept of the play appeals to the artist in me.
I noticed on your personal website the mention of a couple of games in development: Battlelords and Red Planet Explorer. How are these projects going?
BattleLords has been ongoing for a couple of years now. Various issues regarding funding etc., are hoped to be resolved soon. Red Planet is my own creation, for which I need a team of game developers to take it further. The Battlelords team have promised to look into it after their game gets under way - but I am always on the look out for guys willing to take it on. Bit like the 'Wreck Movie' approach.
Anytime, anywwhere, sometimes in the middle of the night, sometimes at work, and in the bath. And, of course, sometimes I get stuck and can't go anywhere.
When I am modelling, I often start with a little thumbnail sketch on a post-it pad which I keep on my desk next to my keyboard for those moments of inspiration. Though now I am using my DS, with the great homebrew programme called 'Colours' - it makes your DS a portable sketchbook, and I can scribble ideas on the train, in bed, anywhere.
You had mentioned that your "Commuter" image was featured on an Imagine FX cover DVD. What issue was that, and has any more of your work been featured anywhere?
Commuter is just one of a few images Imagine FX have put on their cover DVD's over time, I don't have a record of all the issues, and should really get around to it. They also had a model of mine as a freebie and reviewed my marketplace spaceship bundle (very favourably). Before that, I have been on a few of 3D Worlds' cover CD's.
Also, I have regularly been featured as a cover artist at Sci Fi Weekly. And it's my models that made the cover image on The Mammoth Book of Extreme Science Fiction: New Generation Far-Future SF, though it would have been nice to get a credit. I have always wanted to do book covers ever since, as a kid, I saw the Chris Foss covers on my favourite books.
I guess the transition from traditional model-making (Kit bashing, etc.) and drawing SF, to making those worlds in 3D came when I began working with Autocad way, way back in the1990's. It was the default software I was using at work (Building Services design), and at lunchtimes I could begin making SF 3D models. The really big push which got me onto Rendo was when there was a free version of Bryce V4 on 3D World's cover CD. There was no stopping me after that.
When I vote or comment in galleries, I always veer towards truly original work, where the artists have done as much of the work themselves as possible.
Thats a bit of a 'piece of string' question. Generally, I design for myself. The models become a 'product' later, after I have used it in an image (or not...sometimes I create a model, but can't get the scene to work, so it becomes part of the next bundle for someone more skilled than me to create with). So, the answer is anything from an hour, to days.
What is your favorite product and why?
I have a soft spot for my earliest product (still selling since 2003), the Ruined City Scene. But, really, that's like asking which child do I favour. All my models are special to me in some way.
I have had a few. But mostly, I find people get what they want from my packages and just wait for the next bundle. I am happy to try to model specific items for people, but I have to confess I work quicker when it's flowing from my own tormented imagination.
Do you have any parting words of wisdom?
Always enjoy what you are doing, wether it be life, love, or work.
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Nick C. Sorbin is a digital artist, sculptor, writer, and Managing Editor for Renderosity's Front Page News.
July 21, 2008
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