How did you get started in 3D Graphics?
I have always loved sculpture and sculpting, I remember when my parents took me for the first time to the museum to see a temporary exhibition of Auguste Rodin, I get astonished by the sculptures and said to me “wow, I really want to do this”. First with Plasticine then clay then plaster etc… I try all and also tried to copy everything I saw, cartoon characters, my pets even my family. So the move to 3D graphics was only a matter of time…well it took almost a quarter of century but finally happened. How long have you been working with 3D Graphics?
The very first software for 3D that I used was Strata Vision, some time later I found Macromodel and also came up Alias Sketch which has a great raytrace engine by the way, but I continue using Strata as the main application. In the pursue of new ways to bring my passion for figure and form I came across with a program that supposedly was an aid for drawings and buy it because it came from a company that made a software that I like very much which was Fractal Design Painter (which came in a very cool can!) of course you know what software I’m talking about, yes, Poser.
When I mention this software names I’m sure many of you will say, “ahh, those times” but certainly will say also “aww, I’m getting old”, yes we grew old but also grew our experience since this was almost 14 years ago.
My first job assignment in 3D was the logo of a magazine made of crystal; I remember that the preview render took 35 minutes to complete! Nowadays I’m sure it won’t take more than a couple of seconds to finish. But that was the early days of 3D consumer applications for everyone, Poser for example, the lights were awful, the figures all blocky with almost no features at all and the hands hasn’t even movable fingers but there were we, using it for hours posing those mannequins and looking at it with awe.
From time to time I came across with the need of 3D human figures, but as times pass by higher quality was required so I left Poser at version 1 and almost forget it completely for years. One of my friends which is a great traditional 2D artist was complaining about images made with Poser, you know the never ending “it’s not art” and point me to the Renderosity gallery. I think how a Poser render could be competing with 2D artists or renders of major 3D software, and when I went into the gallery I couldn’t believe it, I was amazed of how much Poser evolved and the stuff that was available in the MP was breathtaking! And said “wow, I really want to do this” So I become a regular visitor of the gallery and the MP ever since, about three and a half years ago.Do you have any formal training?
I took sculpture classes but at the 3D realm never. All I have learned in this was taught by friends and co-workers and by the need to get the job done. But we were very formal about this, we always wore a tie at work.What software do you use for product development?
I can divide my software in two areas, creative and production. In the creative area there are two main 3D applications, ZBrush and Cinema 4D and in production I use, Photoshop, Cr2editor, Zpad, EasyPose, Injection Magic and Morph Manager. I have a bunch of other utilities but most of them I have used only for a couple of times because other does the same thing but faster or they give me weird results.How much time is required for product development?
Since all of my products are different from one another I could not give an average but I could say that the range must be between two weeks to twelve weeks including the promo images.Can you give a brief overview of your development cycle for a new product?
Well, it all begins with the idea of what I would like to see in the MP or if I think that a figure could be done in any other way or improved. Then I refine the idea and set the project, what will include and lay some sketches for the promo images. Once I have all this I begin with the schedule and the hours I would use to accomplish it since I do this in my spare time, usually the project tends to surpass the estimations because I always end hitting with something technically new for me and which of course slow me down because I have to find how can it be done. This could sound boring or frustrating but in fact it’s what I like the most of doing Poser stuff, the technical part of it, learning and seeking new tips and information.
Anyway, once the technical issue it’s solved then I turn to testing. I try every morph, every pose and every texture in P4, correct the problems or mistakes and then do the same in P5. While doing all of this I make renders (this is where the promo sketches comes in handy) so when I finish the product I have all the material needed to do the promos.Where does your inspiration come from when developing new products?
As I mention it, I essentially do what I would like to see in the MP or what I think could be helpful in renders for others, so the inspiration comes right from the poser community itself so it never ends. I see the galleries and think “this could look better if…” or for example when I did Alice the idea behinds her was that despite I like AnimeDoll I don’t like her to be so short and so childish and nobody seems to care about it but I do! And felt that choices were missing and I don’t like that so “I set the project etc…”
I do like choices and hate when I don’t have them that’s a big part of what I done, make alternatives. When Aiko 3 came out I think “come on, another gorgeous girl to choose from but I don’t have as many male counter parts to choose from”, so I turn her into the Aiko Man doing this at least we could have another man in the realm of anime.Do you have any advice for aspiring Digital Content Developers?
Yes, go ahead! And always do your best, nothing beneath your top and keep in mind that you are selling stuff and that you have to deliver a certain amount of quality for the money you are asking for, always do your best and once you think you have finished your work think if it could have been done better and if its so then do it again instead of throwing it to the MP, and if your product doesn’t sell as good as you expect analyze it with more head than heart and try again, remember “never give up, never surrender”.How has Renderosity's on-line community played a role in regards to your products, friendships and learning?
I never stop feeling amazed about all the different kind of people who is in contact on a daily basis here at Renderosity and that are extra nice to everyone, also so free to say what they think about everything. There could be really heated debates on the forums from time to time but you certainly could find all the year helping hands for every possible problem you could come across with, and nobody laughs at you for posting a silly or obvious question so you always feel free and comfortable. In such environment certainly you could only grow as a member or merchant but definitely as a person.Do you have any final words?
Just want to thank my customers, the administrators, the helpful people at the forums, also want to thank the academy…, well, thanks.