June Merchant of the Month is Blackhearted

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June Merchant of the Month is Blackhearted
How did you get started in 3D art?

i have a heavy background in pencil rendering, with some experience in oil painting - 3D was just the next step for me. i love it - no other medium gives you so much forgiveness, flexibility and potential. its a harder medium to infuse with your personal 'style', but its power lies in the fact that you can dynamically change your 'painting' as you work: delete parts of it, change the lighting, change the characters, the viewing angle, the scene, etc. even after you have rendered, you have the power to drastically alter the image in programs like photoshop.

3D is also more forgiving than traditional mediums in that it allows everyone to focus on the parts of the image that they are good at - and this opens up the art world to a much larger audience. perhaps someone has a great imagination, and some awesome ideas, but they just cant get drawing the human anatomy down, or drawing realistic hands, perspective, lighting/shadow, etc. well - they now have the opportunity to focus on their creations and decide exactly how much of the production process they want to be directly involved in. lets face it - just like not everyone can pick up a pencil and draw the human anatomy, not everyone (very few, in fact) can sit down and model the human form in a 3D modelling program, paint a texture map, or create a dramatic lighting environment. 3D... poser, bryce and products like the ones found in the rosity marketplace open the world of art, and a channel for our creativity, to ALL of us. its a more seamless, and less intimidating outlet for our creativity than, say, a pencil and a sheet of paper.

What software do you use and why?

i use quite a few programs, but the three that i absolutely rely upon are:
poser4 - because its a very straightforward program and has the fastest (although most limited) renderer on the market. it lets me concentrate on my characters, lighting and postwork without spending half of my life waiting for a render. many have suggested i try bryce, but i would lose my mind (whats left of it) waiting for a 6 hour render. or, god forbid, an 11 day one ;)
poser propack - mainly due to the improved renderer, python scripts and the other little enhancements that make my life so much easier.
photoshop 6 - ive been using the photoshop products for a long time now... theyre expensive, but they are the best, and theyve become almost second nature to me now. also, i am constantly learning new techniques - in photoshop there are usually 2-3 ways you can do any given thing, and each method adds a different flavor. this is where i create most of my textures - the toolset is ideally suited for texturing and minute detailing - and im looking at the new photoshop 7 upgrade - with the healing brush - which seems like a very useful tool for texture creators.

Any advice for getting started in selling 3D work?

sure. im not going to tell people what they should make, or how they should make it, or anything like that. but i have one word of advice to budding merchants: persevere. if i had a dollar for every time someone told me i was 'playing on the computer', id be a rich man. it used to enrage me when i heard the phrase "gabe spends most of the day playing on the computer"... now i just smile :) the fact is, i hardly have time for games anymore. i bust my ass working on my products, and i have taken a lot of flak for spending the time on my computer. most of it is from the older generation of people who cannot comprehend the fact that you can make a living creating an intangible product that is sold in an intangible store for intangible currency ;)

...but you can - if you put the effort into creating solid, reasonably priced products. if someone is thinking about getting into selling their 3D related products online, then my advice to them is to go for it -- the first product is the hardest, but if you put in the effort and create something of true value to your customers, and take that first step to selling your work online, the rest will fall into place very quickly.

another little suggestion is to make sure everything is tested well. i know everyone has heard this before - but think about it. is it better to spend an extra couple of hours, or even days, thoroughly testing a product - or releasing something with bugs and then spending ten times that amount of time uploading product updates and answering the flood of emails from dissatisfied customers?

Where do you find inspiration for your products?

well, i have been focusing on female characters, since that seems to be my strength, and inspiration for these is all around me ;) i like to think that i combine reality and fantasy in a pleasant mix. i try to create appealing, sexy characters - but i ground them in reality: with a realistic woman's anatomy - full hips and thighs, thinner waists, a bit of a tummy, and sometimes generous, but realistic endowments :) you wont find any waif-thin characters with size EE breasts in my gallery or store (not that i have anything against them). several of my body/face morphs are based on actual people that i know.

in my textures, such as the upcoming 'Ki' texture/character, i try to combine soft colors with hi-res detail in areas where it matters (eyes, brows, lips, cheeks, etc) - but subtle detail, not highly contrasting, dark tones that render splotchy and unappealing when rendered from a distance or in indirect light. while i think high resolution photo scans are essential to an image, they can also be overused. ki will be a truly 'petite' character - shes about a foot shorter than vicky or stephanie (which under no circumstances are 'average' height at 6 feet tall), and all of her anatomy is scaled to match. shes really cute :) after that, kiera and i are going to work on a long overdue male texture.

as for ideas on what to make? ive never had any problems coming up with new ideas. most of my early products were items that i created for my own needs, used myself for several months in my gallery images, and then decided to sell them afterwards. my newer products are, again, items that are pretty heavily influenced by my own tastes - but ive been lucky in that those tastes are shared by many others. i guess im not as wierd as i think, hehe.

my inspiration for my gallery images stems more from my life. you can tell what mood i was in, or at what point in my life, by most of my gallery images. some of my early works are quite dark...unfortunately.

How has this online community (Renderosity) enhanced your work, relationships, and learning?

well, until now its negatively influenced all of the above except for 'learning'. i am constantly evolving and learning about 3D, and im just getting into modelling so that i can create extra additions to my packages for more value to my customers. ill never be a natural modelling guru like my friend valandar, but i am learning how to make common objects (furniture mainly) and some small props (tools, weapons, jewellery), which i can texture and include with characters as smart-props. in any computer-related area, you have to keep learning to keep up with the everchanging products, methods, etc - or you get left behind.

until recently, while i was working a 9-5 job, renderosity has negatively influenced my work mainly because of the time involved in creating gallery images, surfing the forums, creating new products, etc. but instead of adjusting my passion for 3D around my job, ive done the opposite. i now rely on 3D as a major source of my income, and do computer literacy training, onsite tech/network support and webdesign on the side for extra income. im just finishing up some bartending courses at the local college just for a weekend job and a change of pace ;)

relationships? well, ive recently had a relationship fall apart and i suspect that my devotion to renderosity was a significant part of that. so now ive resolved to be careful not to allow my passion for 3D to totally take over my life - and i schedule my days a lot more carefully to allow for my personal life, active life and work to coexist in harmony... its almost working, too :) part of it is finding a partner that understands that a lot of the time i spend on my computer is work - again, the phrase 'playing on the computer' comes to mind. lately, rather than getting upset or offended, i will sit the person down with me and show them what it is i do, and what takes up most of my day (working on new products, communicating with my partner, customers, other merchants, the rosity staff, creating gallery images, dealing with issues such as the recent warez issue involving homestead, and answering IMs) they begin to understand that while i love my work, it carries with it an enormous amount of responsibility.

I wish to thank all the people here at rosity - the friends ive made, my partner kiera, the people who have helped me when i was a newbie struggling with things that seem so simple now, the staff who put up with me, and most importantly my customers - who have faith in me and my products and provide me with valuable feedback on what they would like to see in future packages. i even wish to thank the small number of 'enemies' ive unavoidably made here - without whom life would have been far less colorful :)

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Member Opinions:
By: Slynky on 6/2/02
well, i've never been a huge fan of 3D, just because it isn't my thing, but i do know you're a damn cool character dude. Sorry if it was my fault in the chatrrom for the relationship thing, i know you just couldn't resist talking to me... heh. bonne chance mon ami

By: Lucy_Fur on 6/2/02
*G* I know you squirm each time, Gab, but *huge hugs* Congratulations in the biggest way for making the MOM. Your skill and generosity have been such inspirations to so many ppl in the Renderosity community. I am happy and proud to know you. :)

By: jeweldragon on 6/2/02
(((((((((huggles my friend))))))))) congrats i cant wait to try your stuff out someday:) you are the best

By: waxlrose20 on 6/2/02
congrats, gabriel ! :) i love your products as well as your render image ! :) wish you more success in the future.

By: Kiera on 6/2/02
Congrats, Gabe, I am so happy for you. =)

By: rasputina on 6/2/02
excellent article, congratulations on being the Merchant of the Month. All the best to you.

By: Hellmark on 6/2/02
Congrats, blackie!!

By: dreamsosweet on 6/2/02
Congratulations, Gabriel, and great article - almost as good as the incredible "readme/tutorial" that comes with your products! ;-) You are one extremely talented man, and I thank you for sharing your talent, both in your excellent products and in all the help, tips and encouragement you've given me along the way!

By: kayjay97 on 6/2/02
Gabriel, your stuff is so awesome and it just keeps getting better and better. I am proud to own quit a few of your items and I always look forward to the next one. Congrats and keep it coming!!

By: Entropic on 6/3/02
Heh. Bout damn time, Gabe. I would've thought you'd be MOM 5 months ago. ;) At any rate, congratulations, you've earned it. -Paul

By: Dark_Whisper on 6/3/02
Well done bud. I can give a hearty "Oh Yeah!" to the comment you make about "playing on the computer". I still grit my teeth every time I hear that phrase ;-) - d

By: ToxicAngel on 6/3/02
Congrats :)!!! I just had to drop a line to say that your stuff is great - and really easy to use. A well deserved spot !!!

By: Eowyn on 6/3/02
Congratulations! :) (And I would like to add, if I may, that you're gorgeous :P~ )

By: ladynimue on 6/3/02
As a long time admirer of your images I am overjoyed that you are being recognized as Merchant of the Month. Owning several of your textures and I am always amazed not only by the quality of the product but also by all the extra tips on lighting, camera angles, and posing included in each package. I eagerly await your next creation :)

By: Blackhearted on 6/3/02
aww shucks.. thank you very much everyone for the nice comments and support ;) cheers, -gabriel

By: Smaker1 on 6/3/02
You're the best!! Thanks again for your little help.

Cheers! :-)

By: linwhite on 6/3/02
You thoroughly deserve this honor. I have 100% of your stuff, and can't wait to see what you'll do next. Your characters are versatile and different....plus you get a lot for the dollar with your stuffed-full of goodies packages. I'm thrilled to read that you are now into this full-time.....rock on!!!!!! Linda

By: Dejah on 6/3/02
Well deserved my friend, your products are great!

By: ChuckEvans on 6/3/02
Well, BRAVO, Gab! Interesting article and with style, too. Can't wait to take a look at "Ki"...she sounds interesting!

PS: Now you've gone and done it...posted that pic of you doing your best K. Reeves imitation. Now you'll need to carry around some sort of digital stick to beat the women off ya...grin!

By: praxis22 on 6/3/02
Huzzah! The crowd goes wild, the cheerleaders all come out for "smooches" :) Congats Gabe!

By: xrcinstinct on 6/3/02
OH!! MY!! GOD!!! Feels like I just got violated by a hobo...jk :) Man, congragulations! all your patience and dedication finally payed off. wish you only the best in the future, you're sortof like Obi-Wan and I'm Annakin. YOU INSPIRE ME, well lets take this time to make some free advertising :D everybody checkout what gabriel taught me http://liquid2k.com/xrc/ug57/index2.htm without his help, I'd be making site off geocities site builder

By: LadyJaiven on 6/3/02
Congratulations, Gabriel. You're a great artist and you truly deserve this spot :) *hugs* Congrats ;)

By: X-TC on 6/3/02
Jeeeesus, after DW being the last merchant of the month another gifted artists (and favourite of mine) gets this title! You earned it, if it was just for "Aeries" and the "Ophelia & Tuesday"-package. Great stuff and very easy handling... and now I'm gonna get that Frazella-pack! ;o)
Grats to someone who knows the tricks!

By: Jamesadactyle on 6/3/02
Congratulations, Gabe!! Like everybody else has said you really deserve this, your products have been nothing but amazing, and your images always inspirational to me. Now if I could only scrape enough pennies together to get some of those great textures! Awesome job!!

By: DragonWalk on 6/3/02
Well....what can I say here that hasn't been said already...you sure impress the heck out of me bud, over and over and over.
As if your art isn't enough to wow my inspirations and egg on my passions to do art, your a star quality in so many other ways also.
You have become a mentor for your craft, a hero that has earned his title through his toil, quality and generosity and above all, his superb talents, and man, you have every right to be prouder than a peacock with a tail full of prismacolors in mating season ;-)


By: mayhem on 6/3/02
All I can say is- it's about time...you're one of the best artists I've seen here at renderosity. Keep it up and can't wait for the new releases! Congrats G!

By: Richabri on 6/3/02
Congrats Gabriel and thanks for letting me know that I'm not the only one who gets flak for spending so much time on the computer! Great products and a well deserved distinction!

By: thebert on 6/3/02
Congrats, as I been "playing on my computer" for the last 7 hours.

By: jewell on 6/3/02
congrats, my friend. I have a big hug waiting for you next time you're in the chatroom. Now, I must go browse your store.....

By: Greybro on 6/3/02
Congrats. Great product and most articulate article.

By: ElectricAardvark on 6/3/02
Congrats Gabriel. Now, about you and kiera...hehe
J/K Bet you never thought anybody would ever be calling you MoM.

By: JaeJae on 6/4/02
Coooonnngradulationnnnns! I really enjoy your products. I keep finding myself adding the new ones to my wishlist. I feel like a kid in the candy shop...oh I need that one..and that one and...
Anyway, glad you made MOM, you deserve it.


By: Buddha32 on 6/4/02
Congrats, Gabe...you deserve the recognition. You do awesome work.

By: BigRedKane on 6/4/02
Congrats BlackHearted, you are one of the best and I wish you well with your future endevours...:-)

By: Ra Graphics on 6/4/02
Hello, I dont now you very well but I love your work and your character design, and I think you
have given genuine replies to your Qs, good work and hope you have continued success.


By: Shademaster on 6/4/02
Congratulations on your MoM nomination.
You and Kiera got great 'something new' products and lovely artwork I can't resist setting as my wallpaper.

By: Puppeteer on 6/4/02
Way to go man! Your products are always top notch, and the extra time you invest in each one really shows. I wish you all the luck in the future, and keep on rendering! :-)

By: Smitthms on 6/4/02
Congrats my friend... & thanks for all you have done for me, you have definately been a great friend & an even better influence in my work & learning. If not for you & a few others, i'd have shelved Poser by now :o) Thomas

By: fredoman on 6/5/02
Well, its about time that you were honored like this, Gabe. Not only are you among the most talented artists on this site, you're also a great promoter of the art form and a tireless teacher. I've been only one of many that have been beneficiaries of your assistance in Poser, Photoshop and so many other programs, and in art as a whole. Those of us that look at your work in wonder have a great path to follow, and a great place to look for inspiration. Thanks and congratulations.

By: ladydawg on 6/7/02
It is so cool to hear your Bio, after I've been viewing your awesome work for so long. And now to see, and I'm sure the other ladies will agree, you're such a hottie also along with that great talent of yours, it's more of a pleasure to watch you work! Sorry couldn't resist saying that! Don't mind me, my bark may be loud, but my bite is very timid. ;)

Congratulations and hope all your wishes come true!

By: ElorOnceDark on 6/7/02
Really great interview Gabriel! I'd just like to extend my thanks to you. Not just for all you great products, but also the time and consideration you've taken in lending a hand, and sharing your knowledge. Bravo!

By: judith on 6/7/02
Congrats Gabriel! Thanks for sharing a little of yourself..... I think most of us can relate to that "playing on the computer" bit. It's one of the most irritating statements I hear. ;)

You've given some rock solid and noteworthy advice to prospective merchants.... I wish you a prosperity in your business endeavors and happiness in your personal life.


By: ivyroses on 6/8/02
Congrats Gabe!!
Im glad to see your hard work & dedication has finally given you the recognition you deserve.

By: Blackhearted on 6/9/02
Thank you all very much :) I hope to meet a lot of you at Dragon*Con this summer... now back to 'playing on my computer'.. lol. Cheers, -Gabriel

By: Hellmark on 6/9/02
Corngratulations blacky! atleast they don't think all of the people in chat do nothing.

By: kristinf on 6/10/02
Congratulations, your creations are *wonderful*

By: dragongirl on 6/10/02
Congratulations on being MOM! You do very fine work, and I am very happy to hear it is financially successful as well as artistically successful. :-)

By: stenographics on 6/11/02
Dear Gariel, I'm very happy what you're MOM! Thanks for your art and for your high quality products! These are an important part of my poser's arsenal and a continuos inspiration source for my skills improvement. Thanks for existing! :-)

By: Ladyfyre-graphics on 6/11/02
Well done Gabe! I second Eowyn *s*

By: Marty_Mcfly84 on 6/11/02
dude keep up the great work...I have all your stuff, and I worked things out with my chic by letting her sit on my lap while I render, and she tells me what she likes :)

By: lynde on 6/11/02
congratulations! I really love the products of yours that I have..:)

By: SkoolDaze on 6/12/02
Congratulations!! Your creations are top notch... keep up the great work and good luck in all your endeavors... peace

By: Turtle on 6/12/02
Your very good as all the above people say. But Your one of the most honest up front person, even with your feelings.
I remember reading the read me on the free dancer you made.:O)(Unless you change that now?)
My husband used to tell people when they called for me on the phone."Oh shes just playing on the computer" Then my Friend started selling my renders and making them into web pages. Now he say's "shes working earning money on the computer." lol :O)
Best to you.

By: spinner on 6/14/02
Congrats :-))

By: asrai on 6/14/02
Great job and congrats...you most definately have some of the best "toys" available...Keep 'em coming!!!!

By: islandgraphics on 6/14/02
"Playing on the computer"? You sure you don't know my husband? I get that a lot too, you know. Great interview and awesome products. Congratulations!

By: DIMENSION_X on 6/15/02
Congrats !! You deserve it! I don't know you nor have spoken to you! What I hear from others is good things about you !

Keep up the good work!!

All the best!;)

By: Moebius87 on 6/17/02
Congratulations on being this month's MOM. Your interview has been an entertaining eye-opener and is something that has definitely made an impression. Thanks for sharing. :o) - Me

By: Papu on 6/19/02
Congratulations Gabriel, you do fine work! :)

By: SAMS3D on 6/19/02
Congratulations on your article, you are definately deserving. I wanted to tell you how much I love your work and your gallery. I can understand that you don't play on your computer but work, and it shows. Congrats again

By: cristab on 6/20/02
Congrats on MOM! Love your work and it's very inspiring. Oh and BTW, I love your picture, you would make a lovely poser model or real life model ;)

By: chemicalbrother on 6/24/02
congratulations my good man..a well deserved mom......

By: thee coop on 6/25/02
Congratulations, I recently bought 2 of your products , I must say they are Great and easy to work with.
I just started about 6 months ago making and selling product with the hopes and dreams to be able to put out products as Grand as yours !

By: Shademaster on 6/26/02
Congratulatoins Gabriel, I didn't knew you could make a living out of selling products here. Hmmmm...very interesting....

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