The Origins of Free Stuff

LillianH · October 22, 2004 2:32 pm

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So, tell me us little bit about yourselves. I know youve got a wedding anniversary coming up soon (congrats)

Rebekah: Les and I will be married 5 years on the 31st of Halloween. We have two kids (Killian and Lilith) and 5 cats (Snackcake, Hershey, Duncan, Debbie and Ed). We currently live in Cincinnati, OH. We both work from home full time creating content for Poser. I guess that covers that.

Les: Yep... that about covers that. I'm really into comics, horror/sci fi movies and gaming.. basically just a big geek. I think that covers everything of any importance there. :)
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You seem to work very well as a team, do you ever have any big disagreements over the direction your work takes?

Rebekah:Yeah, apparently I want to put genitals on everything and I get called a perv :)

Les: Yep, she wants to put genitals on EVERYTHING!!!!!! OMG: it blows my mind... she embarrasses the crap out of me on a very regular basis.


Graphic2967.jpg Whos the boss?

Rebekah: Les will say that I am. I would have to say that neither one of us assumes that role as we work back and forth off of each other.

Les: It really depends on what aspect of things you are looking at. Artistically, I'm pretty much in control. Technically, Rebekah calls the shots.
If I have some crazed concept to release that she says is just too far out for what we can achieve in Poser, then I defer to her a lot and will rework whatever it was or scrap it to move on to something else. In terms of the mechanics of our business, I tend to call the shots on the "grand scale" of things, whereas Rebekah really controls all the day to day mechanics of things. It's a real give and take situation; I'm just lucky to have her because our areas of specialty and interests really mesh quite well.

Did you begin with modeling and find Poser, or did you begin with Poser and move to modeling?

Les: Well, Rebekah doesn't actually model. She's sort of my resident "code monkey" and I love her for that 'cause I HATE code. :) I began modeling back in '95 with Infini-D, then moved to 3DStudio R4. Shortly thereafter a friend of mine started letting me use Poser 1 in his studio, then when version 2 came out, I jumped on it and haven't looked back since.

What drew you towards the creation of monsters?

Rebekah: Monsters are good for the soul.

Les: I love horror and Sci fi. It's about as simple as that. I think that monsters can be a great catharsis. You show them being beaten and it's like your projecting some personal demons in there to smack around a bit; or you show them winning and you can really reflect the feeling of your own downfalls. I think monsters are an important part of humanity; we create them to reflect things in ourselves or the world that we hate and fear and it helps us cope on many levels. At the same time, one can just dig the crap out of a big, mean beastie. It works on a lot of levels and that's just another part of it that I really enjoy. Graphic2960.jpg
Your models all have a distinctive look (I would describe it as monstrous), is this deliberate or just a reflection of your own personal style?
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Les: I guess it's just a style thing. Most of the models I build start out as very detailed concept sketches and I stick to that pretty closely.

I actually enjoy drawing and painting a LOT more than modeling, but modeling allows my creations to be easily animated and that is something I love and is a lot of why I do it. Since the stuff comes directly from my traditional approach to drawing, though, I'd have to say it's all sort of a natural style development. I'm very glad to say, though, that I see it as having evolved a lot over the last couple of years. Hopefully that trend will continue. :)
Would you ever consider creating a cute model? (I secretly think Robogoth is kind of cute, but Im not telling you guys that)

Rebekah: We did, but no one bought it. :)

Les: Actually, I love doing cute stuff but everyone knows me as "the monster guy" so much that the cute stuff we've tinkered with just didn't go over at all. It's actually something of a sore spot with me because while it's great to have a niche for one's work, I hate being pigeonholed as just one thing. One of the most important things that I think an artist can do is diversify; try new things. You have to grow and expand beyond what you came from and doing things other than monsters is a big part of that for me. Granted, they are what I'm most comfortable with, and it's always good to get back to really belting out the beasties, but I find that there are plenty of times where I need, artistically, to get away from all the doom and gloom. Contrary to what one might think from our products, I'm actually a really happy guy; it's nice when that side can come out. Unfortunately, though, it just doesn't seem to sell.

Where do you get your ideas from?

Rebekah: He gets his good ideas from me ;p

Les: Sometimes, that is actually the case. Some of our more bizarre stuff was spawned by conversations with Rebekah; she should learn to draw or model or something because her concepts are just so original and bizarre that they really would shine. Most of the time, however, inspiration for our stuff comes from either influences such as books, comics, film, or mythology, or it comes from the bazillion or so stories and story outlines I have floating around. Right now, we're taking some time to really develop a growing pantheon of monsters that center around a couple of our other characters. I like the idea of creating this stuff with a kind of continuity. The users are welcome to take it or leave it in regards to their own work, but I like the consistency that the figures get from having a common setting as their origin.

How did you persuade Pascale Blanche to have his HER model poserized and given away for free?

Les: It really wasn't about persuasion at all. Much as we are, Pascale was very interested in the idea that his work could be released in a way that would reach a very broad audience. He is working on a number of commercial expansions with me for the HER figure, which I'm sure will be very well received, and releasing the base as a freebie helps guarantee that the support products will have a strong user base already in place. All marketing crap aside, Pascale is a really great guy, too, which didn't hurt things at all.

What was different about poserizing this model in comparison to your own models?

Les: Well, first off, the term "poserizing" is sort of a misnomer. I think that kind of leads many to think that you can just bring in a mesh, hit a button and have a figure which is not the case at all. The toughest part of HER was that Pascale works primarily in 3DSMax. Max is a great program; I used it for years. However, the base figure, as is often done in many productions, was modeled so that the clothing which became the Designate Alpha package was actually part of the base mesh. The areas of the figure that would exist beneath the clothing and hence would be obscured from view were not modeled in the original, so once the clothing was separated, those parts had to be added in from scratch. Throughout the process, Pascale was directly involved so as to preserve the integrity of his original design. The other really big hurdle to get over was the type of uv's the figure would have. The uv's that one artist prefers to use in their own work are often times a long way from what constitutes something that a market of varying users will be comfortable with. It doesn't necessarily mean either are better, but we decided that HER should have uv's that the Poser users would feel more at home with than what the original mesh had.

Why does Rebekah post in the beginners gallery instead of the Poser gallery? (go on, fess up, Im sure its you!)

Rebekah: No, its me. I post there most of the time because I am a beginner when it comes to actually using this stuff to render anything.

Which of the many models you have given away free is your favorite?

Rebekah: RoboGoth.

Les: Adam2

What do you like best about giving these models away for free?

Rebekah: First it gives people a taste of our figures. Secondly, it gives the general community more to work with and helps create diversity. And lastly, it is fun to do something nice.

Les: As an artist, it's always very edifying to see a large number of people enjoying your work. Freebies do that quite well. And, as Rebekah said, I think it helps familiarize people with our work in a way that might lead them to consider our commercial products a little more seriously than that might have previously.
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Whats the worst thing?
Rebekah: To find that someone has your figure and just never got around to even loading it in.

Les: Yes!!! Knowing that there are literally tens of thousands of copies of your figures downloaded and in the users hands, but not seeing them used for whatever reason. That can be really frustrating. I think a lot of it is that when something is free, people don't have the vested interest of having paid for it. Someone pays for something, they'll use it because they want their money's worth.

What do you hope to achieve by giving these models to the Poser community?

Les: I would like to know that even folks who aren't spending tons of money on Poser products can have a little diversity in their runtimes and we do that. I also hope that people will use our freebies and recognize the work we put into them and realize that they don't have to pay out tons of cash for figures that work.

Do you have any favorite images created with your freestuff?

Les: There was an image sometime back with Behemoth fighting a group of Bobeaters that I really like a lot. Unfortunately, the bulk of the images I create these days are either the concept art going into a figure or the product shots finishing out the packages. That's the big downfall of doing this for a living: the users want what they want and they want it yesterday. If we fall behind the bar on product releases and our production efficiency, then our business will suffer. That doesn't leave near as much time for creating art with our products and freebies as I would like. Someday though...

Do you have any advice for people who are just starting out sharing their models?

Rebekah: On my end I would have to recommend that one writes a concise readme file and make sure that the runtime structure is set up properly. No one will use it if they can't get to load. Also, read up on the compatibility between different version of Poser and OS. It is essential.

Les: Make what you love and be prepared for hard feedback. Also, be prepared to see a lot of people grab something just because it's free, then never really use it. People always give their attention to things they have an investment in over the free stuff they've found, regardless of the quality of the freebie. Eventually, they do come around, but it takes time so don't expect to see immediate reactions to your work, even if it's shared for free.

On a bad Poser day, when arms fly off newly imported models or bits decide to explode when you add a new morph and everything goes wrong what keeps you going?

Rebekah: My favorite thing to hear is Les in his sweetest voice "Bekah, will you take a look at something for me? " Usually that means that there are appendages flying all over the place. You wouldn't believe the amount of hand CR2 creation that I have to do to get some of these weird ass creatures out. But in the end, getting those buggers out is what counts.

GalleryThumb771746.jpg Les: What keeps me going? The bills have to get paid!!! Seriously: I've chosen to do this for a living. That means a commitment at every level, freebie or not. One of the big things we have set as a development goal is that we want to keep pushing the limits of what Poser can actually do. With that in mind, we run into all kinds of technical issues that are just maddening, but we push through them and in the end, the final piece is worth the effort.
Youve held quite a few contests here, giving away even more of your models, what do you enjoy most about holding the contests and the contest entries?

Rebekah: It just seems like a fun thing to do once in a while.

Les: We want to see people putting our figures to use and contests are a great way to get that. Also, it's nice to challenge people a bit with a theme of some sort. That's really about it. :)

Do you enter contests yourselves?

Rebekah: I am not good enough, although I have considered it before.

Les: Hehehehe.... the only contest I have EVER entered is the animation contest that was held here. Other than that one, I avoid contests like the plague. Entries take up time, and time away from production, for me, is something I can't really afford.

How long have you been a member and what do you like about our Poser community here?

Les: I've actually been a member of Renderosity since back in '98 before it was known as Renderosity and was the "poser forum". I've seen a lot of people come and go over those years; made some great friends, irked some folks, been irked... all that stuff that goes with people interacting. For the most part, I stay out of the community forums these days because it can end up taking up a lot of my time. The one thing I have always enjoyed, though, is getting the feedback on my work. The community here was a great vehicle for the development of my skills for quite sometime and I'll always appreciate having had that.

For more information check out Sixus1's:
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Next month, look for an interview with ernyoka1.

Article Comments


PoisenedLily ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 22 October 2004

Ohhh a spot light on Les and Bekah! I love it and its well earned and about time! Oh and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!

animajikgraphics ( posted at 12:00AM Fri, 22 October 2004

Great interview. Nice to see faces to the names! Congrats! Happy Anniversary you two!

kierx2000 ( posted at 12:00AM Sat, 23 October 2004

Fine interview, I finally get to see who makes those great Sixus models. I am not Bill Gates, I can't run t DAZ and buy their stuff all the time, and the Sixus free models are great to get! Keep up the good work, and thanks!

Andi3d ( posted at 12:00AM Sat, 23 October 2004

Well, there got all my pre-conceived notions of what you two look like. ;-) Excellant interview, and a real pleasure to get to know the people behind the name. Thank you, and a happy anniversary.

cedarwolf ( posted at 12:00AM Sat, 23 October 2004

It's about time we got to actually meet these two. Welcome, and Happy Anniversary, and may you be blessed by whatever you conceive Diety to be!

Skipychic ( posted at 12:00AM Sat, 23 October 2004

I am in awe of these two.. their work is brilliant, they're a great team that I hope never dies "Long Live Sixus1" Brilliant interview, I learnt alot about you two which deepens my respect for your work. Happy Anniversary and I hope there are MANY MORE!!! Keep creating your extended family...

MachineClaw ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 24 October 2004

Bout damn time hahaha. Congradulations on not killing each other as it's been quite a ride for you this year. Two of my fav people in Poserdom. May you both have another successful year to come, you both deserve it.

julialynn ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 24 October 2004

Hey, I like the cute stuff!!! Okay, so I didn't get around to buying MLC until she wound up on the toon disk, but the intention was there... :-) Interesting interview, btw, and Happy Anniversary!

FearaJinx ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 24 October 2004

Interesting interview. Happy Anniversary! And many more to come!

Kaos1982 ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 24 October 2004

Happy Anniversary!!!! ~Kevin, aka NINJA

h2odog ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 24 October 2004

Fantastic interview. As someone who uses Sixus1 models in a lot of my art, I just wanted to say thanks to Les and Rebekah for their incredible generosity. Their free models are always of the same high quality and originality as their marketplace items are, and the prices on the "for sale" stuff is always so reasonable. I hope your business continues to grow and prosper!

Ethesis ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 24 October 2004

Congrats on the anniversary too! Kind of fun to see the interview twice on the page, I'm still looking for the significance :) You handled the Pascale story nicely, I think that whole thing worked only because you were so patient. Just wanted to read the interview, wish you well and to say that my daughter still wants to tie up the computer at least once a week with My Little Centaur. You did a cute character that still gets some use, even if I'm not letting my four year old post renders on renderosity.com.

Poserkatz ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 24 October 2004

Very very interesting interview. Sympathical. I wish you two a happy anniversary and good luck for the next...mhm... perhaps 150 years? ;-) (I think, monsters will get high ages, if they don't beaten to dead in fights, and the monsters are parts of you, i think eg). Greetings (excuse my bad english)

Disciple3d ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 24 October 2004

Nice interview. Is it just me or is it posted twice?

PapaBlueMarlin ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 24 October 2004

Happy Anniversary:) Your project human figures are great!

Fashionably_Late ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 25 October 2004

Great interview! You guys have a unique style and a good philosophy, it definitely shows in your products. :) Happy Anniversary and thanks for all the awesome freebies!

Lyrra ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 25 October 2004

oh c'mon make some more cute stuff .. the baby alien is creepily adorable :)

pakled ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 25 October 2004

kirsten= I love the pictures..

Galaxi ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 25 October 2004

Go Bucks!!! You two sound like an awesome couple. Great interview. So nice to have faces behind the names.

wespose ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 26 October 2004

Les and Rebekah...you guys are cool!! The level of customer service you two provide for a purchased product is above stellar excellence! I have to confess I'm guilty of downloading and not using for a while...sorry! One of my favorite Sixus models is Greater Troll, He;s just too awesome! Keep up the great work guys, and I wish Sixus1 the ultimate success and prosperity (though it sounds like your already enjoying some of that)!!

Teyon ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 27 October 2004

Nice to get to know you two. You do some excellent work and should be proud of your success (both at home and here). :) Great read Thanks!

kmw ( posted at 12:00AM Sun, 31 October 2004

Might I suggest you use a another name for your 'cute' stuff? While I understand your moniker brings in the customers, I'd hate to see you not branch out because of it. Good luck with everything and congratulations on your success!

Rann ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 03 November 2004

I think it is nice when someone gives from their heart and asks nothing in return. I am not much into poser models, but ever need a model PM me, I model just about everything, In maya,bryce and blender! ......You're Awesome!

TrekkieGrrrl ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 03 November 2004

Great interview! It's so good to get to know people here better. You guys greate amazing models. And yeah, I'm guilty of downloading loads of stuff I never use. But I've BOUGHT lots of stuff I've never used too, just because of the "Wow Neat" factor...

cliff-dweller ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 04 November 2004

Thanks for an excellent interview! And a great couple whose artistry and generosity have rarely been equalled. Big congratulations, you two!!

frndofyaweh ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 08 November 2004

hmm, I see all the aspects of freebies covered here. Well described situations too. I am one of those; Be absolutely original type fellas. and will never sell or buy someone elses models for simple art/hobby use. If I were doing graphics for a client however, it may become necessary to buy a model for legal use or obtain a permission for freebie mods. I would however, buy the finished art print from the artist who created the models and used them, themselves!


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