First of all we'd like to make things a little more clear. Actually As Shanim represents here on Renderosity Awful Soul and Awful Soul is a team composed of two individualities: As Shanim & Siliphiel. We'd like to change our merchant name to Awful Soul but it is not possible right now so we'll remain as merchants as As Shanim for the moment.How did you get started in 3D Graphics?Siliphiel
: As Shanim has always had a passion for computer graphic since Amiga (one of the best computer) so this is how he get started while I got in touch with this amazing world just some years ago thanks to As Shanim.How long have you been working with 3D Graphics? As Shanim
: If I had had a more money when I was a strapping young lad I would have started long before, but I didn't and this mean we have been seriously working with 3d graphic since about two years and a half.Do you have any formal training? As Shanim
: If I had had more money when I was a younger and quite beautiful guy I could have attended a course. In Italy in fact there are many courses to become good professional cookers training...
So I can say that we don't have any formal training; we started from the very beginning and step by step developed our current skills in this field.What software do you use for product development?Siliphiel
: to model As Shanim uses Maya and I usually use Painter for the textures, other useful tools are UV Mapper Pro and Tailor, well, and Poser of course: P4 and Pro Pack.How much time is required for product development?
A lot of time especially after the modelling part (the funniest one) when we have to "poserize" models (creating Cr2 & morphs). We try to adapt the clothes to the model the best possible, but by and large I usually reduce details, particulars and so on (polycount does matter unfortunately).Can you give a brief overview of your development cycle for a new product?As Shanim
: brave and happy I start modelling and I do it really joyfully. Then I take care of UV Map and the initial joy starts lessening. Meanwhile Siliphiel works on the textures. Then we take Poser into consideration, this means cr2 and morphs and the Joy says goodbye to us waving a white handkerchief withdrawing on a old steam train offering us only black smoke. I check tens of times that the clothes fit the model as they are supposed to until I can't go on any longer and I stop working on it. After some time (that can also be months) I notice that I have a folder the existenze of which I didn't absolutely remember and then I say "Oh! A new piece of clothing! I could finish it now. And this is how clothes are finished.
For Siliphiel is more a question of inspiration, when she is inspired she works on the textures full steam ahead while if she's not inspired it's better that she steps back to wait for inspiration to come.Where does your inspiration come from when developing new products?
We get inspired from fantasy and our own little spherical heads. Music's contribution is very important (there is always something sounding in our cubic room), it gives us inspiration and creativity.Do you have any advice for aspiring Digital Content Developers?As Shanim
: Actually I have been looking for someone that could give me advice. But I have never found it. So my piece of advice would be not to waste time looking for advice but rather to work hard and NEVER get discouraged (a good piece of advice).
I have had quite negative experiences as far as advice are concerned, since almost all those people that were able to do somthign good have never tryed to help me. This is something I still remember quite well and this is why conversely I would like to help anyone that would need advice. Therefore when I have some spare time I'll try to find the time to anwer to anyone that would like to contact me to ask for advice.
Note: I don't write tutorials because I'm too lazy for this kind of things and also, honestly, actually I'm not good at it.Siliphiel
: when I need advice I look at As Shanim, ha has never given me any wrong one :).How has Renderosity's on-line community played a role in regards to your products, friendships and learning?
Renderosity has played a very important role since when we found the site we haven't yet get in touch with Poser, although we knew something about "a program in which you could move people", so it was Renderosity that made us know this new world. Then, thanks to Renderosity freebies area we started distributing our first freebies and started getting feedbacks from people, this was very important because we didn't know much about product development and so on and was very useful to us for our first product to hit the market.
With the first freebies and products we also got in touch with some people that appreciated our work and we started some friendship that still exists and of which we are really proud of. We have know many people in this two years and a half and some really great artist we really admire the work of, and there are some people we are really glad we can call friends.
From a learing point of view Renderosity's community has always been very helpful, if you have any problem with Poser it quite easy to find an answer in the forums or to find someone which will help, this is something wa have always enjoyed and still enjoy.Do you have any final words?As Shanim
: With the confidence of a colour blind that crosses a red traffic lights I can say that no one (or really a few) is still reading this interview. By and large I thinkg that no one is really interested in me and Siliphiel.
Sometimes I go to the station and wait for a train that goes to the Moon or Mars or when I'm particularly lively I wait for the Enterprise (the one from the latest series is fine). But those trains never arrive (nor the Enterprise), so I grab my luggage full of good proposals and Siliphiel by hand and getting back home I see many things: buildings, cars, roads, people with dogs and dogs with people.
I am disconsolate because I understand that television and multinationals control everything and everybody and they are there that decide which trains have to arrive and leave in the stations.
While I get back home the train to Mars arrives and also the Enterprise but I can't see them 'cause I've turned. I haven't had enough patience and specially I haven't trusted myself.
At this point I can only build the spaceship that will bring me far away by myself, and this is what I am doing because I want to go far away, very far away, to reach the place where people desire and think by themselves.Question
: What has all this to do with Poser and 3D?Answer
: I have always desired to say something like that to a bigger audience.
Thanks: I thank with love my mother and my father. I hug warmly my sister, her husband and my niece. I thank all those artists that create the music I listen to and all those that bring me inspiration (they're many and a list wouldn't be useful... who would be interested!?!). All movies we watch and love (and all actress/actor we appreciate), all the things we read because help us so much, and all videogames we play and loved. I thank my friends, those that although they're not near me right now have really given me much. I thank my elementary school teacher, my math teacher of primary school and my secondary school teacher of Italian. Last I thank Siliphiel, for she stays by me.
: I'm sure ours will be the coolest spaceship ever! I agree with As Shanim of course and I want to hug all the above mentioned people as well and also my parents, uncle and granny. I won't never be able to thank enough As Shanim to make me dream :).
Thanks everybody for supporting us and have a great New Year full of beautiful dreams!
As Shanim & Siliphiel of AwFuL SouL