November 2014 Vendor of the Month - SWAM
November 2, 2014 5:04 am
Congratulations to SWAM for being Renderosity's Vendor of the Month for November!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is 'SWAM'?
First of all, I want to thank you for being chosen as VOM, I am very happy right now *grabs her broomstick and does a happy flight*.
My Name is Monika and I live with my husband and our three Norwegian forest cats in Bavaria - Germany. I used to work as an office leader for a hot dip galvanization. 3 years ago I decided to start my own business, and now doing 3D only and love it.
I was creating things my whole life, I remember knitting clothes for my Barbie and other Dolls, doing dipping varnish creations and working with woodcarvings, and I did silk painting for 12 years. I think I was driving my parents crazy with all kind of projects, but they always helped me to execute my ideas (and get rid of the mess I created, LOL). Then I found a Homepage where they had fantastic images done with Poser. That gave me my direction, and I wanted to make these images as well.
How long have you been involved in digital art?
I got Poser 4 as a Christmas gift in 2000. Very quick after that
I had my very first contact with 3D modeling. After watching many
tutorials and lots of trying and figuring out, I finally made my
first item - a morph pack for Victoria 2. Wow, that sounds like the
stone age, but yes my first figure I bought for Poser was Victoria
1 :-) Well, since then I have been hooked to 3D and Poser, and now
also to DAZ Studio.
Can you give us some hints on what you may be currently working on?
If you check out my store then you might have an idea what I
could work on. Yes, your guess is right: Hair! Somehow I am crazy
for hairstyles. As soon as one hair is done I have the next style
ready in my head. Most of the times I am working on more than one
style at a time.
What software is currently in your digital toolset and why?
I am working with 3ds Max as my modeling tool since I am used to it and there are plenty of free scripts and tools for it available. Since I found Headus UVLayout, I love to do UV Mapping and think it is relaxing. I use Headus every time I do Mapping and I think it creates the best and cleanest maps you can possibly ask for. Not to forget UV Mapper, thats the tool I use the most. Perfect for moving parts around and creating material names. It would be very hard to work without it. Photoshop I use to texture my items. What can I say - needed!
I also use lots of the great programs and Timesavers by Dimension 3d and netherworks (thanks guys - you rock and make my life easier). There is Poser File Editor, I use that for making parts hidden or editing a cr2 to my needs. From the Toolcollection I use the "Add Morphs" the most, that is a timesaver by adding all the morphs I created at once. Also the Thumbnail creator and MAT creator scripts are tools that I use every time I create a new item for speeding up. Of course working with Poser and DAZ Studio as well.
Could you list any current favorites among the products you've created and tell us a bit about their creation?
Brixie hair is one of my favorite hairs. I wanted to create a fantasy hairstyle for fairies and all kinds of weird creatures. So, I had to figure out a logical way to shape the hair. That was a little challenge, but at the end it worked out great. Then StudioArtVartanian came up with an Add-on for it (the Mythos). I was more than happy, and of course, very surprised :-)
What are the biggest challenges you face in your work?
The biggest challenge for me is to sort out my ideas and pick
the right one - just ONE. That is why I most often have more than
one project. So, I switch, depending on my mood and patience from
one project to the other.
Can you tell us a bit about your creative process, and are there any workflow tips you might wish to provide?
Whenever I see something that inspires me I save the image or try to draw the idea on paper. So I collected lots of pictures over time and that is my Inspiring box. When I am ready to start with something new I open that Box and look inside.
It never takes long to get me hooked on an idea, and then I go
for it. I fire up my (3ds) Max and start with creation. Sometimes I
need to warm up a bit to get started, but most times its a smooth
way. I work with low mesh as long as possible and right before I
turn it into high poly mesh I create my UV with Headus, then back
to Max and finishing it. After I've exported it, I use UV Mapper to
create my template and start to texture it.
Do you have any other advice for aspiring Digital Content Developers?
Use shortcuts for programs. Lots of programs use shortcuts, and, to be honest, I cannot remember them all. So, I have a huge list on my wall with lots of shortcuts for each program, that way I can easily find the right ones and use them. They really save time!
Other than that, I can tell you that you should check out the galleries often - there are zillions of ideas and inspiring pictures. Also, you get an idea for what the customers are looking for, what they use, what figures are favorites right now - or you see the need of an item that is not existing at the moment.
How has this online Community (Renderosity) enhanced your work, relationships, and learning?
As soon as I registered here at Renderosity I found lots of nice, helpful and talented people. It became my number one place if I am looking for new clothing and needed items for any projects and renders I want to do.
Some of the people I met here became close friends!
Do you have any final words or advice for other digital artists?
Keep calm and stay with Renderosity!
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