How did you get started in 3D art?
I come from a Fine Arts background, so I probably got started in 3D art with Play-Doh and Popsicle sticks, graduating up to bronzes as an adult. As far as COMPUTER 3D art, I bought Poser for the Mac when it first came out, and Kai Krause was hawking it. It didn't do a whole lot, and neither did I, until I started working for a company that insisted that I work on a PC. They also insisted that I learn 3D Studio Max. While I was about this, I picked up a design magazine and discovered that Poser had come a LONG way, and that the Poser community was very strong online. So here I am:) What software do you use and why?
I use Poser 4 ProPack (because I haven't gotten 5 yet:) and Photoshop 5.5. I stick with Photoshop 5.5 because I like the way the tools work better than in 6 or 7. All through my painting years, I was trying to create the realistic figures that I can now create in Poser and Photoshop:) I also have a digital camera, which makes doing photo shoots for my textures much easier. Aside from the instant gratification of having the images immediately available, I don't have to explain to the lady at the photo finishing place what I'm doing with all these naked pics:) Any advice for getting started in selling 3D work?
First, I'd give the same advice I'd give anyone in the creative world - do what you know, do what you like. If you know 3D modeling, do models and morph targets. If you're a hair stylist by day, make hair, etc...
Second, do it right! There is hardly a worse feeling than buying a product and discovering that it doesn't work like you thought it would - or worse yet, how it was advertised. That's one thing I really appreciate about the Renderosity beta testers - they don't let anything slip by:)
Third, price reasonably. I know you spent countless hours on that model, and really think it's worth $50. But look at what similar items are going for - if Joe 3D is doing a similar item and selling it for $15, you're outta luck. And if Joe 3D is doing a similar item, maybe you should do something else. Where do you find inspiration for your products?
The same place I always have - observing people. Once I got into doing Poser textures, I started paying close attention to people's complexions. I was in a play with the woman who modeled for my Shelly texture, and knew on the spot that I wanted to do a texture from her. And it turned out better than I ever imagined! I have to admit that I prefer to do textures for the female models - I've always been a great admirer of the female form. How has this online community (Renderosity) enhanced your work, relationships, and learning?
I've made a couple of friends in the community. Sometimes I get into the forums, but mostly I cruise the Art Galleries (I do an "All Galleries" search every day) to see what people are doing that's new. There are a couple of artists whose work I look forward to. Mostly, what it has done is to enhance my skills. If I see something I like, I get it and take it apart to see how it was done - that's how I've always learned. And the bar keeps getting raised. The textures I was doing a couple of years ago are nothing, in quality, to the textures I'm doing now, and it's because someone else did a better one than I did. So I'm a better artist than I was, thanks to you folk.
My ex-wife used to say that I had some sort of weird left brain-right brain connection that allowed me to be creative and do it on the computer.