October 2005 AOM - MoppelundWilli


Each month the Renderosity community votes on The Renderosity Artist Of The Month [AOM] — October’s AOM is from the Terragen Gallery. We congratulate MoppelundWilli [Pascal Strittmatter] for his outstanding collection of Terragen images.

Who is MoppelundWilli and how did you come by your username?

Well, first of all I want to congratulate to all the other nominated artists, each of them has an amazing gallery, each of them has his own personal style, you all deserved the AOM title, like some artists who were not on the list at all.

I want to thank my fans (and those fans of the other nominees) for their faithfulness and their support over all the time. I am glad that you like my work, and feel very proud for being chosen as AOM. I appreciate this very much. Also thanks to the Rendo-crew (mods and coords) for their efforts here.

Whereas I might be a little bit creative in Terragen, the moment I chose MoppelundWilli as my username must be one of the most uncreative moments in my life. [laughter]

Moppel and Willi are my two pets, Moppel is a Rabbit, Willi a guinea pig. The man behind this goofy name is Pascal Strittmatter, a 29 years old student and hobby-artist from Germany.

How long have you have you been creating computer graphics?

The first contact with computer graphics was about 10 years ago, when I drew my first digital pixel in a simple program called Deluxe Paint. I ran across Terragen in late December 2003. I grabbed the program by chance from a suggestion from my brother. He showed me some first pictures he created with Terragen, and I could hardly believe that they were self-made. I started playing around with it and began to learn how it worked. From that moment on, I was fascinated by the possibilities of the program.

After some poor results I improved more and more, and now I have the honor to give you this interview. So, today, it is two years that I have worked with Terragen, and I hope there are many more creative years in store for me.

Beginning To Freeze © Pascal Strittmatter [MoppelundWilli]

Do you have traditional art experience?

Not really, graphical art is only a hobby for me. As a small boy, I loved to draw and paint with pleasing results. I do not have exceptionally gifted hands, but I always invested a lot of time and concentration on my work.

My interests in art guided me through many different styles which I tried out, such as; carbon, watercolors, acryl, and the wet on wet technique of Bob Ross, etc. The results were not bad, but also not worth talking about them further. [laughter]

What are you currently working on?

Currently I work on living my life. As I am only a hobby-artist, I spend most of my time and energy in private and job-related affairs. In order to make a fine render, which satisfies my expectations, I need to have some free time. I always start at “zero,” and do not use any pre-built surfaces or terrains. What is even more important, I need a free mind. If something weighty bothers me, I am not able to concentrate fully on the creation process with fun … and joy is all I do it for. I do it for me, for the joy of producing beautiful art, not for the comments — although I value them very much.

What software/equipment do you use and why?

The main rendering program is Terragen v.0,9,41, where the images are created and rendered. I use this software because of the enormous possibilities to create landscapes, and virtual places. It is hard to tell somebody who is not infected by the “Terragen-virus” about the fascination of this software — the ones who are infected know!

Sure there are things that I am not yet satisfied with, such as: the lack of possibilities to create and have influence on a real-looking impressive cloudscape; to create real overhangs; to use overlays on vertical parts without distortion; to use vegetation, etc. However, I am looking forward to the future versions of Terragen, hoping they will come out soon.

There are a few other helpful programs, which give advantages to the creation process. I myself use Terraformer2, WorldMachine, and sometimes MojoWorld Exports for a more particularized terrain building.

In Paint Shop Pro 7, I do all the post work (color-, contrast adjustments, resizing, sharpening, cloudspw, etc.). My computer/snail: AMD Athlon 1800MHz, ASUS A7N8X Deluxe Board, 1GB RAM, Radeon 9800 Pro.

What do you think your best piece of work is and why?

Not easy to say, there are many different pieces in my gallery which I like much. Some are quite realistic, some have a more surrealistic touch. I think with one piece I achieved a step forward to a next level. This piece is Steinbruch. But, I have three current overall favorites are: Steinbruch because of the gigantic scale and texturing, such as Giant of the Kambrium, and Beginning to freeze because of the richness of detail and mood. However, I think my best is still to come…

Steinbruch © Pascal Strittmatter [MoppelundWilli]

Why do you like to work with 3D/2D software?

Because, I have no friends and don’t know what else to do in my free time. [laughter]

No, seriously, in contrast to painting in the traditional way, graphic software offers plenty of opportunities for me. All the instruments in graphic software [undo, cut, paste, etc.] let you test your steps before you make them final. It allows you to act freely, without being afraid to make a wrong brushstroke.

Besides, I think that Terragen is a craft everybody can master, it does not matter if you are talented with manual drawing skills or not. It is a strategy, you make the planning, and you can take your time to give the computer the best possible instructions, but your computer is the genius — it executes the render! Plus, the results are breathtaking and multifarious, just view all the beautiful virtual places the artists of Rendo have fabricated.

Who/what inspires you?

Life is inspiration. You get inspired everywhere, consciously and subconsciously. Mother nature shows us her beauty in a manifold manner, you can see on a walk, on journeys, in movies, etc.

But imaginative power is the main key for my work; this is where I set the root for each new image. I always start with a fuzzy idea. During the creation process, new ideas come and go, and the shape of the final result gets more and more accurate. At night, when the rest of the world seems to sleep, I am most creative, listening to nice music.

Last but not least, I get inspiration from all the fantastic artists here, at Renderosity and at Terradreams. I do not want to list any names, because I would forget some for sure, but their work helps me over creative blockades. Thank you my friends! Oh, I almost forgot Moppel and Willi.

Giant of the Kambrium © Pascal Strittmatter [MoppelundWilli]

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

Well, you yourself start with your personal somewhat narrow perspective on your work. By reading feedback/critiques you learn to view your images through the eyes of the commentators and you automatically expand your point of view. This is a growing process … not only the skills of the individual artists, but also the whole community grows and grows together. Each artist is inspired by the work of the others; each one copies ideas from the others; each one is incited by the others; and that is how we transcend our boundaries and improve.

Rendo is like a little village and it is both exciting and relaxing to walk through its multi-colored streets. I think it is quite valuable to have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, who share similar interests in digital art. Without Renderosity a lot of friendships would not exist.

Parting Comments/Advice to other Artists?

Ok, now its time for me to give a parting advice from my ‘AOM-throne’ to all my ‘inferior fellows.’ [extreme laughter]

No, I think it is not for me to give advice. I just believe it is not the main purpose of art to be rated, and in general it is not possible to do so. So, do the art for yourself, for your soul, not for the comments, or for an award — do it with passion and enjoy what you do. I think this is the highest value of art.

Take your time, and the effort will pay off. That is my key to great results. Now you are allowed to applaud and to go back to your finger paintings. [more laughter]

Best wishes, health and peace to all of you,
Thank you,
Pascal Strittmatter

We invite you to view MoppelundWilli's Renderosity Art Gallery.

To learn more about
Renderosity's Artist Of The Month [AOM] award,
and to view our past AOM's,
please visit the AOM 2005 page,
which can also be found
on the sidebar under Highlights.