December 2009 Artist of the Month - Spacer_01
December 1, 2009 11:30 pm
Each month the Renderosity community votes on The Renderosity Artist Of The Month [AOM] ... December's AOM is Spacer_01!
Who is 'Spacer_01'?
Hi, my name is Terry. Only a few online friends I've known since 2001 know my full name, so I'd prefer to leave it at that. I totally love Sci-fi and anime in movies, tv series, and books. Terminator, Star Wars, Robotech, Star Trek, and Stargate Universe would be my top five favorites.
How long have you been working with computer graphics?
Since back in the 486 days when I got my first computer. It was DOs 5.1, Windows 3.1, and Corel Draw Suite 3. I had learned to use Corel Draw vector art drawing, doing report covers, resume covers and the like as needed. Graphics and design work became dormant for a number of years until I had gotten into online roleplaying. Coreldraw proved useful being able to quickly draw and design building maps - floorplans and layouts for my gaming group. A neighbor of mine years ago had bought Poser, couldn't figure it out. I had a chance to try it, but didn't like the interface for posing tools or the dials for posing. I did however love the concept, but shelved the notion of getting into it until perhaps an easier program came out.
In the fall of 2007, I came across Daz3d's Daz Studio and I was instantly hooked. I played with a bunch of freebies, until I got tired of the limited circular forest diarama in the starter content. I tried using wallpaper for backgrounds but didn't like how they'd seemingly float in the air, lacking ground shadows. In March 2008, Daz3d had Carrara 6 on sale and when I read and checked out what it could do, I bought the Express version. A week later, I upgraded to the standard edition while the sale was still on. Only caveat was an anything but informative and useless manual. I've been learning and self teaching myself how to get better ever since.
Do you have any traditional art experience?
Only from highschool art class and Industrial Arts shop class. I had gotten a taste for art using traditional methods such as colored pencils and paint. I found it hard since traditional art is a very linear process from start to finish. I didn't realize until later in Industrial Arts class that I'd have an easier time with creating art non-linear in fashion. The assignment was to learn how to use the bandsaw by cutting a simple traced squirrel side profile from a piece of 2x4. It was a good application for using the bandsaw; lots of curves in varying complexity that formed the head, body, tail and legs.
I liked the project enough to take the squirrel home, and dug out the files and sandpaper. I enjoyed filing and sanding it down until it was incredibly smooth, curvy, with more definition to the basic shape. Nor was there any hard angled edges left. Best part about it was the fact there was no required linear process to adhere to. I was able to start and stop where I felt, move to another random part, until I was satisfied. Unfortunately, I had also come down with severe bronchitis (almost choked to death twice from it) - fine wood dust and fresh wood aroma I was unkowingly allergic to. It was with a sad heart that the one thing I truly enjoyed, I wouldn't be able to do any longer.
What are you currently working on?
The Approaching Storm series for starters. I've got lots of render projects in varying degrees of beggining or completion. Lots of ideas started, many half done. When I get stumped or stuck, I switch gears to another project. When I feel I've spent too long on one (doing test renders can take alot of time), I shelve it for a while. Rotation keeps things fresh and interesting.
What software/equipment do you use and why?
Carrara 6, currently. Will be jumping up to Carrara 8 64bit when its released. Hardware: a Q6600 quadcore with 8gb ram, and Windows 7 64bit. Gimp or an older version of Photoshop for adding the signature, or my trademark image border effect.
The machine works well for rendering, and decent enough for occasional gaming. The Quad core cpu makes a big difference in rendering time compared to an older 2500XP I had prior to it. A quad core and 8gb may sound like alot, but lots of renders I do, I find still can take up to 8 hours. Right now the 8gb isn't even being fully used since Carrara 6 is still 32bit and can only use part of it.
What is it that you like best about Carrara?
It's a well rounded package - terrain and sky generation, native Poser content browser, intuitive visual posing mouse tools / interface that makes posing characters easier and quicker than hunting for the perfect pose preset. And I totally love Carrara's shader channel system. It's near infinite in flexibility and customizing. Carrara's dynamic hair is also incredibly fun to work with. I also like how naturally it interacts with the light, highlights which normally would have to be added in postwork.
What do you think your best piece of work is and why?
Just one? I have a few for various reasons.
"Cameron": I'm a big fan of Terminator and the Sarah Connor Chronicles. The render is from the same project as Dungeons & Dragons, different camera angle. It was tough finding the right combination of lights for the scene. Considering I don't do corrective postwork, she's pure render, I'm still stunned how she turned out quality wise.
"My Immortal": She's the result from what I was feeling / going through at the time. I wanted to convey that in a render. The initial version just didn't come out right. It was Biffowitzs' helpful critique that encouraged me to try it again. The original title I felt was too long and had trouble coming up with one. I was listning to Evanescence and one song came on that really struck a few chords within. The tone of the song, its lyrics, the message helped put things in perspective. I also had to make an entirely seperate render for a photograph prop that I wanted to include in the scene. Ironically, this render pretty much sums up the most of the year for 2009.
"Carrara": Personally my proudest achievement in understanding making custom shaders to date. The project took about a week to figure out, and I think it really showcases both Carrara's shaders capability and what winston1984's XCC-990 Fembot + Mega Texture Pack can acheive. I did in pure render what most people have to do resorting to postwork of blending / compositing multiple renders.
Who, or what, inspires you, and how do you get your ideas?
My online friends I chat with are an inspiration. My gallery friends images are an inspration. Lots of times it's even the comments I receive that can spark an idea. I'm also largely inspired by Mark Bremmer. His Carrara renders without postwork have really inspired, motivated, and pushed me to try to achieve new heights I never would have thought possible. Mark's Carrara renders simply say that you don't always need to do postwork to create a great image. Especially if you take the time, patience and effort to try and setup the scene, to get the most out of Carrara. Thats what motivated me to try making shaders like I used for the renders "Jadesfire" and "Carrara".
How has this online community (Renderosity) enhanced your work, relationships, and learning?
It's the comradrie, friendly comments and encouragement that keeps me going. I originally used to post over at DeviantArt, and it was depressing. My art would get viewed, even faved, but nobody could bother with leaving a comment for what or why they liked it. The Renderosity art gallery community is the exact opposite. Sometimes its a simple comment, just to show they were there and liked the image. Sometimes the comments are more particular to the image, sometimes critique or constructive criticism.
Do you have any parting comments, or advice for other artists?
I would like to say a 'thank you' to those who comment on my images. It's been a really rough year for me, some months worse than others. It's your comments that help put a smile on my face, your kind words that can lift my spirits.
We invite you to have a further look at Spacer_01's Renderosity Gallery!
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Artist of the Month is highlighting a talented Renderosity artist that has been nominated by mods and admins, and voted by the community. Recognition is given to this member for their collection of works for that year.
Since we only select one AOM per month, it is not about their works for that particular month. Instead, it is about highlighting a talented artist's works for that year, and they are recognized during that month.
To learn more about Renderosity's Artist Of The Month [AOM] award, and to view our past AOM's, please visit the AOM page, which can also be found on the sidebar under Highlights.