2000 November's Featured Artist--Syyd Raven

November 6, 2000 1:47 pm

How did you get involved in 3D art? A friend of mine (that I was working on a collaborative story project with) bought me Poser and Bryce. Since then, nothing has been the same for me. I don't know if I can ever think of a life anymore without art. My surreal art is all about taking these programs, especially Poser, and twisting the skin out of it, until it bleeds itself into something entirely my own, something vastly different. It was through this twisting and bending, that I began to notice that I would get a lot of burn out on skin in work, and once you burn the skin out, you can never get it back again. How long have you been involved in it? I've been working in 3D art, since 1998. I started doing digital imaging of photographs for an indie band in Seattle, Washington. What did you did before you became a 3D artist? I have been a classical musician my entire life. I worked the last 12 years as a soloist, singing 17th century sacred renaissance music, and I did a great deal of sacred and concert stage work. How long have you been making your own textures? About six months ago, I began making my own skin textures for Poser, and beta testing them on my work. (A great example is her rendering "Desdemona"). I wanted real, shining eyes. I think eyes, as well as skin, is what really makes a texture believable. The old adage that the eyes are the windows to the soul stands true across the face of art-and humanity. So, I thought, why not apply that principal to a model? Why do you like texturing? Texturing is such an exciting field, competitive, and dynamic, and there are handfuls out there that do amazing work. One thing I stay away from though, is presenting product online that has been touched up. It makes people feel as though they have been completely ripped off. You have to represent yourself honestly, so people will understand you are working for them-as well as yourself. What was your first texture? "Ava" was actually the first; it was requested from a gallery member who complained furiously that no one was doing anything to change the "Victoria" model. I started making a skin texture, then a head texture, and then even changed the face. So this is how I began to approach Ava. Texturing is a painstaking and often times difficult process. Testing alone takes days, and can rattle your brain. Working with a skin texture requires a balance and symmetry, and you cannot color outside the lines, just like we learned in kindergarten. What inspired you to create "Max"? The success of Ava is what made me decide to do "Max" (for Zygote's Michael). With Max, I wanted to achieve a bright and shining intelligence and a 30 something face with quirkiness to it. I wound up seeing (through test rendering) a look that reminded me greatly of the old Hollywood film stars; Peter O'Toole, Errol Flynn, and Burt Lancaster. I could hardly wait to finish the texture so I could try applying photographic techniques to the face and develop that look. What were things you didn't like that you changed? On Renderosity, I noticed the P4 woman is still the most widely used model. The pointed upper lip, the vacant eyes, and her skin made her look like a Barbie doll. I changed her skin so she'd look like a viable, beautiful female. I also have created a line of clothing for her that could be used across the board; sweaters, leather pants, shoes, dresses and bathing suits. A lot of work went into the clothes, because I didn't use the standard tiled textures available in most of the programs. I went hunting for real clothes, and thus spawned the clothes from my searches. What do you like? My first love will always be surreal 3d art (fantasy style) work that is from the soul. Everything I have done so far, in this direction, is representative of a small piece of me. Everything I feel on the inside shows in some small way in these renderings. I create to music always. Or sometimes, I actually hear music in my head; and then I lose myself. Hours later something emerges. I am continually impressed here on Renderosity by the amazing amount of fantasy art, and by the way people are just exploring and exploding programs into another dimension. Models are being made continuously, that can be used in so many ways. Some of the finest 3d artists today are here, on Renderosity. What are your dislikes? There are two things actually. First, I intensely dislike remarks about post work and filtering. I believe that Photoshop should be an artist's best friend, and an illustrator's best friend. With all the joint trouble involved in posing the P4 woman, Photoshop should be used. When doing surreal work, filtering and plug-ins are what sends the work into the stratosphere. Color, movement, and style occur this way. Photoshop was created for photographers doing photo real work. Why not approach 3d art the same way? You are creating a digital person, and then using Photoshop as a studio and dark room to develop this person you created. Approach the work as you would a real person. My second major dislike, there is lack of respect given to 3d artists by the fine art community. I believe that 3d art is the work that will be recognized in this millennium. I have literally banged my head against the fine art door to be told that we, as 3d artists, are not artists; but fakes, and charlatans, who use programs instead of a real medium. I remember commenting sarcastically once to a fine artist, who took a dig at my work by saying, "Did you ever try to paint with a mouse??" Not only are we artists, we are mathematicians, technicians, and software engineers! I believe that we are the Van Goghs, Rembrandts, Dalis, and Picassos of the future. One day we will take our true place in Art, as it should be. We are the future, and we should look to it proudly with recognition of the contribution being made. What are you currently working on? I am currently in the process of driving for an even greater photo-realism in texturing. Photo-realism in texturing cannot be achieved in misrepresenting a finished product with cloned in parts of a photograph. That bothers me intensely. It either finds itself to the texture and wraps on the model, or it doesn't. A long time I ago, I posted an image here on RR. I got a private message saying I should take it down, because obviously I used a photograph for the eyes and skin. That never happened! At first I was totally insulted, because I had worked so hard in getting this model to look just right. Then, I took it as a backhanded compliment, because I had done it through POSER! I am also developing a website called "Syyd Raven's "PosaNation". It will be a website dedicated to all forms of 3d art, with tutorials on texturing and achieving photo-realism in work. I will be writing tutorials as requested on hair, and on using photographic techniques to enhance images. Who's work motivates you? I am heavily influenced by the work of Salvador Dali, Edvard Munsch, Bosch, Boris Vallejo, and H.R. Giger. I am madly in love with Pre-Raphaellite's art as well. St. John the Cross, by Dali, is still to date, my favorite work of all time. Who do you think are the best renders? I can think of a handful of artists here who are without a doubt, the best. Clay Hagesbusch, TB Koen, Desdemona, GeorgeD, Versionthirteen, Hubert, Dnick, Omen55, Palmix, and many more, who have been instrumental in developing individual style in 3D art to where it is. I also paid close attention to the work of Colm Jackson, who's rendering of "Elric Of Melnibone", is still one of the best things I have ever seen. Would you tell us about your unique Renderosity story? Funny enough, about a month after being on Renderosity, Colm Jackson had commented on a few of my works. Lo and Behold, one cold winter evening, he posted a rendering called "Sister Fate". It was an angel, of great monochromatic beauty. I commented on it, and we became fast friends. Three months later, Colm moved here to the USA from England, and we got married. Why do you use Renderosity? Renderosity is a home for me. I started posting here in December of 1999. I was scared, apprehensive, and amazed all at once. I had no idea at the time, that there were others like me. I can remember just perusing the galleries with my chin hanging on the floor. I especially remember work by Februus and June, and DigitalWoman. I thought to myself, "I have a hell of lot of nerve to even post here." Renderosity's current evolvement is astounding. The developments of this site for its artists, have given us a tremendous push. The store, the programming, the fine moderation, and all the new features are a constant amazement to me. I am so glad to be here, so lucky to have found a place that is as willing to showcase its artists, and not hinder them. Please visit Syyd's Online Store.

Article Comments

Sorcyress ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 06 November 2000

Renderosity, what a great choice in Syyd for your November featured artist. She is one of the truly unique talents here. I am proud to call her my friend, and have already learned a great deal from her artistically. Way to go, Syyd!

rain ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 06 November 2000

It's great to know that there is a really nice lady behind that talented artwork :-) Claire

brighid-oz ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 06 November 2000

I thought Syyd was great before this interview...now I KNOW she is :) Hey Syyd, you are a great inspiration.

page ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 06 November 2000

Great story,i really like your images,and agree that the digatal arts need more attention and respect from the non-digital visual art realm..hope that comes into being some day.with sites and interest that renderosity promotes i believe that will help..keep up the great work..

dhc2nite ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 06 November 2000

Congradulations to the Featured Artist of November. All of your work is beautiful and I can't wait for your web site so everyone can see more of your talent. Excellent job Syyd!

Antoonio ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 07 November 2000

Could not be a better choice. Congratulations, Syyd.

jasminre ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 07 November 2000

As I said before, you are not only the grate artist, you are one wonderful person to. Your words here are truly inspiration.

desdemona ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 07 November 2000

Congratulations Sis, I just woke up and my day starts so wonderfull....Now seriously I admire You and there could not be a better choice. I am very proud that I have such a talented Sis, You have always been great inspiration for me. You are the best, thank You for all You have said to me and for Your support, I love You....Sis

Tilandra ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 07 November 2000

Hear hear! to the comments about digital work being unrecognized in the fine arts community. Just try going to your fine arts council for a grant to support your art and time how fast you get thrown out on your ear. I wonder if I made 16 x 32 prints of my work and hung them in a gallery they'd change their minds? Photography was not a recognized art form 80 years ago... I hope we don't have to wait that long.

dglidden ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 07 November 2000

Congradulations Syyd. You are well deserving of this honor. Your work, both surreal and "normal", is far and above some of the best I have seen. I am very glad to call you a friend and have been inspired to do more with my own work.

ronmolina ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 07 November 2000

Congradulations Syyd! Very deserving.

vkharito ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 07 November 2000

Great choice, Syyd really deserves it, and hey, I just went and bought some textures from her store, they're simply gorgeous :-)

Colm ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 07 November 2000

Once upon a time I was chatting to Syyd on ICQ. At that time she had about 10 renders in the gallery here. She was learning Poser and Bryce and thinking hard on the learning curve of Photoshop. I made to her a prediction. I told her that one day soon she would be considered one of the best digital 'Fine Artists' on the internet. I think she laughed and said..."No, no, no... Anyway Syyd, I had the last laugh 'cos I was right. You deserve this immenseley. I can not congratulate you more. 'SYYD RAVEN, THIS IS YOUR LIFE!!!! LOL... You are my No1... From your No1 fan... Colm...XXX

frogman ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 07 November 2000

Congradulations Syyd!!!..this is a "very" deserved honoring of you...you have worked 'very' hard..so you get this award!!..but!..there will be more to come...You have uplifed Renderosity with your presence let a lone your art...Your art is inspiring and your support and honoring of others is also inspiring...I have seen your support of others all over this site...and beyond...You have a "SOUL" quality that shines out into this community...we are all thankful that you are here...and I am glad I know you...thanks for all you have given......

Ironbear ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 08 November 2000

Crongratulations Syyd! It's more than fitting that when the Featured Artist was re-instituted, you would be the pick. You do truly excellent work. Kudos

ARADTech ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 08 November 2000

Well done Syyd :) Loved your work from the first time I seen it. You have a most unique style and vision always a pleasure to see your new pieces. Peace and Creativity to you and yours, Chris.

SHiVER ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 08 November 2000

hey syyd, keep up the excellent work. you make exactly that dark kind of art i really love...

palmix ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 08 November 2000

Yo quiero decir simplemente, en mi propia lengua, que Syyd es una artista, y una t cojonuda.

Jan-Michael ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 08 November 2000

First of all I would like to say... a better choice could not have been made.. your work to me is outstanding always pushing the edge... I enjoyed reading your comments and thoughts about CG Art. I have strong feelings about this subject myself and here is a definition of Art that I like.. "A product of creativity that communicates something, causes the viewer to question, and evokes an emotional response." It says nothing about the media used..CG art is here to stay and as we artists create the Art that meets the definition above it will become more accepted as the true art form that it is... I am very flattered that you mentioned me in your list I am truly honoured that you think that... and again congrats Syyd..

nnuu ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 08 November 2000

finally someone who actually deserves to be the artist of the month ...you rock Syyd

huribead@charm.net ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 08 November 2000

Syd, you are a great artist...speaking as a classically trained artists myself...don't listen to others regarding what is and is not art. Just do it. Your stuff is great and I hope to learn alot from you. I have only been doing 3d for about 7 months now...still learning and I am so glad I found Renderosity and work like yours to inspire me! Congrats!

foe ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 08 November 2000

i've always admired your stuff !!! FOE HAS SPOKEN !!!

FALCON2 ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 08 November 2000

Syyd, my heartfelt congragulations! You do amazing work, and are a delight to correspond to in email too =) Thanks again for all your great work, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with in the future, its garaunteed to be something inspiring! Falcon

slb75 ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 09 November 2000

Hard to believe that you have only been an artist for 2 years!!! And you are already this good!!! I am so glad you brought out your natural talent for FINE art ;) Sarah

Hubert ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 09 November 2000

Hi Syyd, sincerest congratulations, to you and your artwork! (Seems, that the bot-monster didnt like my elaborate kudos from 11/07, thus, I will keep it much shorter, today). You deserve that acknowledgement: for your artwork, for what you achieved with your incredible textures, for your generous and helpful advice and assistance and numerous other reasons! Places like Renderosity and 3D Commune, actually members like you, always inspire us and help us, to improve our own works. Glad to know an artist like you and its always a pleasure, to look at your wonderful artworks! Cheers, Hubert

Tartan ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 09 November 2000

I don't come this way perhaps as often as I should. Congrats on the honor! Beautiful images walk hand in hand with beautiful poetry :) Tartan

Gwyn Tyger ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 10 November 2000

Syyd, you deserve every accolade and honor. You've worked hard pouring your heart and soul into your work. You are good. You are the best. I am thankful I had a small part in that.

JanP ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 10 November 2000

Congrats. Your work is defenitley great. I think however that maybe "real artists" such as painters have a valid position when they don't think of 3D artists as artists. True enough you and others here are great at what you do. But aside from learning how to use the programs and learning how to create objects, I think maybe the 3Dartist has it a bit easier. The first reason is, a painter has no light source. He has to creat the illusion of light and shadows with his paint. Where as a 3D artist has a built in light source and therefore enhansing shadows are not always necessary.I doubt that a person who has never studied anatomy or sculpture, could very successfully sculpt a 3D torso. They could come close but it would be less than perfect. Also, true a painter or sculpter could not jump right in a do great work until they learned the programs but they have the vast advantage in already understanding how one can use paint to create an image or how one needs to shape an object. Your Old man picture is indeed awesome. But could you do it from scratch. No premade textures, no 3D objects, no poser figures to start? Awesome if you can and I suspect that you could. Running out of space..contiued on following post...

JanP ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 10 November 2000

Some painters do make a lightly drawn sketch on their canvas first but they also drew that from scratch. Still thoughis a 3D artist an artist? I think so and yet I don't. Its sort like is a real musician better than an electronic musician? In some ways by leaps and bounds. Infact I would say by most ways. Real musicians argue that the electronic musician isn't really physically making the musical sounds. But hey a musician who uses pics or those glass tubes isn't either. For instruments that require on to hit a device first like a piano key, Yes, they are indeed musicians Real musicians offere greater "feel" in their musican because they can control every aspect. An electronic musician is however, limited to what they can control. I'm not bashing anybody here. your all great. I could only wish to be so good. Back again.....But I do think that artists using traditional mediums have abilities leaps and bounds greater than ours. Although I'll admit. Picasso is one of the crappiest artist I've seen. At least if I've seen all his works. Didn't he only do those images that look like a 3rd grader drew them(eyes on the same side of face)? JanP

Syyd ( posted at 12:00AM Sat, 11 November 2000

Jan, thank you for your very valid comment and opinion. I believe the problem is, in acceptance versus work technique. You also bring a valid point up about classically trained musicians, versus an electronic musician as another dichotomous (if there is such a word) example. A three d artist may have a built in light source in certain programs, but does he possess the knowledge to use it effectively? As far as creating shadows and light, I use color, that I put in myself, and as an example, I am working on an image now, using a graphire pen, and I am building a cape by hand..This requires the same skill a fine artist would use..I am depending on color, and its tone, to depict an image of a cape, that I sketched onto a rendering. We could debate this issue for days, and I would love to. Healthy discussion and differing opinion simply make us think. As far as Picasso is concerned, it may not be to your liking, but you must understand that this man was an innovator. With that in mind, 3d artists are innovators, in and of themselves, and its a whole new ball game. We seek to gain acceptance, not to criticize or detract from the forefathers of Fine Art. Thanks again for your comments. Thanks to everyone, for your support, I am amazed and moved.