First and foremost, I'd like to thank Renderosity and all the community for awarding me this Honor. Thank you so very much. Being that this is my second time to be on the spot, I also hope it means that Uzilite products have continually satisfied many number of customers. Thus again Thank You.How did you get started in 3D Graphics?
My humble beginning, well there wasn’t really anything humble about it. As what I’ve been told, my mother was quite hysterical and screamed at everyone when they pulled me out of her womb. So I can’t really say that I felt humble when I entered this world especially when I was stark naked also screaming wanting to go back.
After many years, and broken kitchen plates, flying plastic spoon, unknown gooey stuff on the floor (oh there were so many!) and continuous ‘me, me, me, me,’ I found myself standing on the beach alone questioning the great beyond what is to be my destiny. I was seven years old then. No answer. So I let out great sigh, pulled up my Star Wars swimming trunk thinking I should cut down on my soda addiction. On my way back I noticed a family was building sand castle. They were sculpting beautiful fortress complete with moat and all. I paused, observed for a few minutes and looked at the grain of sand below my feet. And I thought, “Boy, I really drank too much soda.” Thus my chance to be the greatest 3D artist was lost forever.
Or so I thought. Fast forward. Now I am in the counselor’s office at the University hearing my professor bellowing that there was no way I could finish my final thesis and graduate in six month with the kind of project I had. I wanted to do a live action space scene complete with space fighters and space marines boarding a space freighter short film. This was 1992. I remained determined. No one will take my great moment. Not even the walking smiling can boy trying to sell soda who stood in front me. But one can wouldn’t hurt I thought. So I took out my Star Wars sport wallet and bought a soda pop.
Weeks later while researching a way to build an affordable space ship I could fit in the studio a friend invited me to a graphic convention center. Then that’s where I saw my first 3D Graphics. On the screen I saw a futuristic submarine discovering the lost Atlantis. Oh baby, I gotta have that! The computer was SGI and the software was Alias with a tag price of, I think, $100,000. But hope was not lost because my class mate then told me about some fruit brand computer and much lower priced 3D software. Put down some cash and brought home an Apple computer.
And so my exciting adventure in the 3D world began. Despite the two very thick manuals I ventured into the realm of x, y, z. I felt like God manipulating polygons to what ever shape I wished. I lathed, I extruded, I meshed, I rendered, and it was a battle every single moment. But I shall not give up. Nothing could stop me. I will map that damn cube dammit! Then in the backroom I heard my girlfriend deafening shriek. She had found my Star Wars underwear.Do you have any formal training?
When I finished university with my short sci-fi film completed I packed in my Bachelor’s degree diplomas for Business Finance, International Marketing and Motion Graphics to move to Tucson, Arizona. I hanged out with brother watching kung-fu movies for an entire two months that I am now proud to say I could do the ad-lib thing perfectly. “You kill my master, now you will die!” “What?!? Is that ‘the monkey jump over the tree snake killing’ style?!?”
On March 1993, I was in New York City where then I lived for close to eight years.What software do you use for product development?
At my current employment I was introduced to Newtek Lightwave 3D, Maxxon Bodypaint, the newest version of Photoshop and the rather cute secretary whom I believe hated my guts now. I had known Poser since version one, but didn’t really play with it until Poser 4 came out.How much time is required for product development?
All of my Poser products that are currently available commercially were completed during the late hours and when there is no pending project at work that’s looming in the days ahead. Depending on my working schedule, the fastest is a month. I am quite certain that if I sleep less at work and at home and during dinner also in the movie theatres I could shorten that to two weeks.Can you give a brief overview of your development cycle for a new product?
It all usually began with an idea. Then for the first few days I would realize my idea on a piece paper using my handy mechanical pencil. Usually this may take two to three days. Once I am satisfied with the sketches I booted up my PC and launch Lightwave. For certain products I skip the sketching part and went straight to my computer. It would be the case when I already had the concept quite perfectly clear in my head.
The modeling may take two sometimes up to three weeks. The duration was usually determined by the schedule I have for my work. I added morphs to the object as I model. Texturing, depending on what’s appropriate on the object can take a week by itself being two at the most.
A few people had commented to me about how I named my products. I suppose buyers may find it weird while other products have more informative and utilitarian names like ‘long sleeve sweater’ mine are stranger such as ‘If you only knew,’ ‘Rumors are spreading,’ or ‘When tomorrow comes.’ But before you call Bellevue hospital and have me committed I have philosophy behind that. In truth it is very important part in the process of development to me.
You see I believe clothing, what we wear, is not only a reflection of our personality but of our ever changing mood. In fact I see them like a photograph. A captured moment of a person’s expression rendered in slow motion. Why slow motion, because clothing is alive. It is music. It dances. And it is perpetual. Some may not change their fashion in a ten year period and some can be counted in months. Just like our expressions are collective tools we use to convey a message so are the clothing we wear. It suggests a message. And when we observe, it reveals a story. Thus you have slick black dress fitted to shape to the curvaceous, seductive contours of a female body that invites attention, which depending with the manner of the wearer, can produce “Rumors” at a ballroom party. All of my products have some context behind them.Do you have any advice for aspiring Digital Content Developers?
Do I have any advice for aspiring digital content developers? First continue to aspire. Never stop to aspire. Believe in your product and it will succeed. If we observe in our own physical world certain products have a long shelf life others do not. Most that do is because they have certain unique personalities.
Most importantly, don’t limit yourself with the tools in front of you. In fact I am secretly contemplating to leave the digital domain by next year because I have come to the point where my goals aren’t feasible to achieve by this tool any longer, you know, like making real clothes. Imagine, walking by Prince Street and West Broadway Ave. and you see a boutique with that inviting Red Couch logo plastered on the window. Wouldn’t that be just so wayyyyy cool?Do you have any final words?
I have this saying that has always remained with me for a very, very long time. “You only live once, and no one lives forever.”
Okay, enough blabbering nonsense. Again Thank You for the honor, and Thank You for your time. Ciao, je t’embrace.
“I will defeat you, master Chen, with my ‘Bear crouching with steel claw to eat a scorpion’ style.” “HAAYAAAA!!!”