Squidinc -- March's 2003 Artist Of The Month!


Who is 'Squidinc'?

Hi all :), thanks to everyone that voted for me, this was definitely a close one. Talk about tough competition <:O

And now for the details...

Squidinc, aka Mike Robinson, 20 years old (21 in a couple of weeks), lives in North Wales, UK. Spends pretty much all his free time making cartoon characters, eating and watching TV. Works in a local College tending to the intranet and various bits and pieces.

Vital statistics...

Kidding :D

How long have you have you been doing character modelling?

Erm...that's a good question, I suppose it must be getting on for 3 years now, that's not continuous work though as I never really took this kind of thing seriously until a year ago, and before then I was looking at a few
different applications so I didn't really put much effort into it.

Do you have 'traditional' art experience?

Not really no, I mean I had the mandatory art classes pushed at me in high school but they weren't very good to be honest as the art teachers had very closed minds as to what they saw as artistic, in other words if it wasn't
painted or sculpted they weren't really interested.

What are you currently working on?

At the moment I'm putting together a crew of misfit aliens/robots that travel around the galaxy for some reason...OK...That was pretty vague but I always liked the idea of having some sort of space port with lots of aliens going about their business, collecting luggage, eating etc.

I've got a couple of characters that I've already made for this project in my gallery (plug plug :D) and I will hopefully be adding more as the months fly past. And then perhaps I'll have the foundations for making a short film. Stay tuned...

What software do you use and why?

For ALL my 3d work I use Cinema 4D XL R8, it's a seriously underrated piece of software, brilliant modelling tools, excellent render quality and vastly improved animating capabilities, and it's a great price too :)

Most of my renders usually have some level of colour correction or additional 2d elements, and for this I use Photoshop 7, which is another tool I couldn't do without.

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

I guess it would have to be the alien pilot, mainly because he turned out exactly how I imagined him to look, I think he's got quite a bit of character; it was him that started me thinking about making the alien spaceport.

Explain to us the major steps from the original concept to the final 3D character...

For the pilot I did a rough sketch of his basic shape, what his hands should look like, what accessories is he wearing, not an actual full drawing of the character but just the elements that he's made up of.

Then I fire up C4D and build up a basic body shape, keeping the details low at this point so I can change things drastically if need be.

Once the body is shaped I can then start adding details by extruding, bevelling, pushing and pulling.

And then finally the texturing, which I do mostly using procedurals and mesh selections. I rarely paint my own textures as I find that pretty good results can be achieved with C4D's texturing system.

Do you plan to animate your characters one day?

I've just recently started experimenting with animating some of my more simple characters using the new tools of C4D R8, so yes, I do hope to be able to make some decent shorts in the future :)

(I guess I sort of answered this earlier)

Why do you like to work with 3D software?

The idea of being able to make a character that you dream up come alive on screen, or a place you invented in your head that can be viewed from any angle, that is damn cool.

What inspires you?

Everything really (that probably gets said a lot), I mean I sometimes looks at something and think how I'd model it or light it.

But I'd have to say I'm most inspired by films that have impressive visual effects like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, some of the stuff that's being made professionally now is really amazing.

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

I don't know whether Renderosity has enhanced my work, but one thing's for sure: it's done a damn good job of getting my gallery and website noticed, since posting my work here I've been involved in couple of professional projects that were coordinated by members of Renderosity, this place is
great for getting work noticed.

The people here are all great as far as I'm concerned...Well...The ones who voted for me are :) lol Seriously though, I really appreciate all the comments you guys have given me over the years, it really means a lot :)

This place is also great for finding a quick answer to a problem, I've posted a few times in the Cinema 4D forum and it's guaranteed someone there will know the answer.

Parting Comments / Advice to other Artists?

Well gotta go, I'm getting low on witty, insightful comments, *cough*

Some advice? Well...I guess it would be to not always hope people are going to give brilliant comments, like "you are a god" or "I want to have your children". These could possibly do more harm than good in the long run, and
there's always room for improvement.

Some other advice, which is always useful in arctic conditions, never eat yellow snow.

Thanks again


Be sure to check out squidinc's gallery!

Click here to learn more about the Artist of the Month and to view our past winners.