Fri, Apr 19, 10:38 AM CDT

Interview with FirstBastion: Renderosity Rising Star of the Month for March 2024

Mar 20, 2024 at 06:47 pm by PJeditor


 FirstBastion FireHouse Station

 

Renderosity’s Rising Star for March 2024 is FirstBastion, known to his friends and relatives as, Bill, who has been an involved 3D designer for 24 years, and brings a wealth of experience and foundational production with him.

He lives in Canada in the City of Toronto that he boasts is a great cosmopolitan environment.

“Out in the real world I am a building renovator – a skilled tradesman. My attention to detail stems from the real-world requirements that are inherent in doing a general contractor's job. The fulfillment of the job contract is dependent on expectations and industry standards. As I often say: ‘details matter.’”

He has also worked in the film industry since Toronto is known as Hollywood North. He began building in set construction, and later became an assistant director describing it all as a lot of fun. He loves to read, write and create art.

FirstBastion’s first foray into 3D was in the modding communities for a couple of video games called No One Lives Forever and Aliens vs Predator 2 which used the Lithtech game engine.

“That was in 2000. I know, it’s almost 24 years ago and it was very sporadic at first. I built a bunch of multiplayer game levels and learned a lot about editing tools and 3D space along with UnrealEngine3 in those days.

“I was good at modding games, and built a small tutorial site, called Modmaker's Dedit Tutorials. That translated into working for LadyLuck Digital game company on one of their first titles called Terrawars: NY Invasion. It was not a great game but still was fun working on it,” he said.

He joined Renderosity back in 2008.  

 

What are the programs you first used while learning to create digital designs, and what are your favorite programs or tools now for creation?

One of the first modelling programs I used was a little-known software called MIlkshape3D, which was popular in the Quake/gaming modding community. It was possible to move individual vertex and facet in 3d space while building the model, and you could convert one model format into another.

But Hexagon3D was probably the most used when I started out modelling on a more regular basis for this Poser based community. 

I now have licensed versions of Modo, 3DCoat, Vue Infinite, UVMapperPro, Substance Painter, Carrara, MarvelousDesigner, Blender, Poser, DazStudio, and Photoshop. Hexagon3D is the little modeller that could. Best $1.88 I ever spent. 

 

What is your typical workflow on a project?

I always start with paper. I rough sketch out an idea, then think up a descriptive name. Next step in the process, is considering the promo images that will best showcase the product. If those elements do not get fleshed out in the design stage, the product idea gets shelved for consideration later on. Promos sell the product. That is marketing.

You have to be methodical in your work ethic, but there has to be inspiration in the creative step to drive the process of creating a model. I am a 3D asset creator. Every one of my products is modelled from scratch from that first polygon. You need to believe in its potential to take it from a simple idea to a finished product. Hopefully it pays off. Next step in the process, is research. I have real world experience in building, so the research builds on what I may already know. But research leads to accuracy and authenticity. So, for example, after I built a Police Station, a Hospital was the next logical step. Then came a Fire Station.

FirstBastion Double Queen Beds-Hotel Room 

 

What are your favorite projects to create and what has been the most successful for you?

Something like the Double Queen Beds Hotel Room is an example, here at Renderosity, of my favorite type of project. Real world sets and locations, which ties back to my early film days. Make places that can help tell stories. That's my specialty. That's why I include both the promo lighting and the camera angles in my sets. I have experience on what works in film, so I provide that as a starting point for these 3D movie set locations. I think that's the reason my sets are popular with visual novel and indie comic book creators. I help them tell their stories. 

And what feels successful? Playing through a visual novel and suddenly seeing one of my locations in the story. That's just fun. And I have bought a few comic books off Amazon that have used my locations in the panels. Again, I love supporting my fellow artists in their endeavors.

 

How did you make the decision to become a vendor at Renderosity?

I almost became a vendor at Renderosity a few times earlier, in 2012 and 2017, but stuff got it the way. I have a degree in economics, and I fundamentally believe that competition is good for any community. We've been slowly losing all the marketplaces that used to make the Poser/Daz ecosystem so vibrant, like Hivewire and RuntimeDNA and others. I wanted to do my small part to keep Renderosity vibrant and exciting. So, 2023 was finally the year. 

 

How has Renderosity made a difference or helped in your growth as a vendor?

I will tell you loud and clear, I absolutely love the vendor control tools at Renderosity. They are so organized and transparent and functional. Compared to that other place, the intelligent usefulness of the vendor panels are so professional. As a vendor, if you want to have control of your storefront like an adult, Renderosity is the place. 

 

What other vendors or artists have influenced your work?

I get inspired every day having a chance to look at the artworks created by my fellow artists who upload to the galleries at both sites and the various art sites and forums – their creativity, their artistry. Same goes for the vendors’ offering. Sometimes brilliant, sometimes functional, almost always world class good. There is so much creativity in this community. I am happy to be a part of it. This really is a great gig. I'm not sure I can single out a particular influence, but we all live within the collective consciousness of humanity with experiences and histories. I'm just working away in my small corner of it.

 

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to become a vendor?

Be yourself. Only you can bring your view of the world to the marketplace. But before that, you need to learn your craft. 3D creation is not easy. It's hard on the eyes. It's long hours. It’s all done on spec. You have to do all the work ahead of time and then hope you get enough money over the long run to cover your time investment.

The key is, invest the time in your talent and craft. Learn your tools. Study what the market wants and needs. Wow them. Make exceptionally good promos based on exceptionally good products. Make what people need. That is what customers buy. And if at all possible, have fun doing it.  

So, as an aspiring vendor, evaluate your real-world strengths and build on them. I build 3D environments because I built real world environments first. If you are a real-world seamstress, get Marvelous Designer and design 3D clothes. Half the challenge is already overcome. You bring real world experience to the vendor possibilities. A seamstress would understand patterns and seams and folds. The resulting 3D garment will be more accurate as a result.

FirstBastion FireHouse Station

 

What are some products you want to create in the near future and in general what are your goals as a designer?

Definitely plan on building a few more municipal buildings, commercial buildings, to add to the sum of the assets I’ve built already. A downtown city street core has been slowly formulating, too. I love getting out in nature and have a particular respect for waterfalls. I’ve already built three. There's at least three more in various stages of completion, so they will eventually hit the store. 

 

Any last thoughts or comments?

I do hope our artistic community can survive the onslaught of the AI generation juggernaut. It is certainly going through a transformation and most likely an evolution of sorts.

 

 

 
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