For the first part of my career, I was busy learning a lot of 3D modeling techniques. Back in the days, spline-modeling in 3D Studio Max was a big thing. I remember using a plug-in called Surface Tools to create patches for my 3D characters. It was quite a cumbersome process, but I was able to design some very organic-looking models which back then was such a hard thing to achieve.
I was learning the process by myself, using the Internet to discover how certain things were done in Max. It was not until I landed at job at ILM that I started to explore more traditional aspects of the art. At that point I rediscovered my love for drawing and found a new passion in sculpting. I was also fortunate enough to learn from people like Andrew Cawrse of Anatomy Tools and Carlos Huante, whom I consider to be two of my greatest mentors.
Oil-based clay (Roma)
My interest in sculpture gravitates more towards the looser impressionistic style. This piece was an attempt to not produce something polished, smooth and finished. I was trying to minimize my strokes in order to keep the surface of the sculpt alive with energy. As with 'The Archer', I was also trying to control the depth and planes of this piece to achieve good contrast under any lighting situations.
As a child, I always wanted to work for ILM. The movies that shaped my imagination have always been the films that ILM have worked on. Back then, the thought of working for such a company was not even within the realms of possibility. The thought was so daunting that for me, it was akin to climbing Mount Everest. For the longest time I kept ILM in the background, fantasizing about my dream whenever I had a chance to think about how it must be like to be among the folks who made 'ET', 'Star Wars', and 'Indiana Jones'. The FX of 'Terminator 2' shook me to my very core. I couldn't believe the magic that was happening before my eyes each time the T-1000 morphed into its liquid state. All of a sudden things were a huge mystery again. It was possible for film imagery to evoke awe and wonder. If 'Terminator 2' was the eye-opener for me to take notice of the film industry, 'Jurassic Park' was the one that really made me decide to pursue this career.
Oil-based clay (Roma)
I remember falling in love with this model's anatomy (in a sculptural way of course). She had poses that reminded me a lot of Egon Schile's works, but unfortunately it would have been too hard for her to hold them for hours on end in a sculpting pose. Even when in contrapposto, she still had a very character-filled stance.
|The childhood fantasies of working at ILM became something I wanted so bad, so I plotted my path from there. I have been very fortunate in that my biggest childhood dream of working for ILM actually came true. Knowing that it is a rare thing to fulfill one's dream, I have not taken anything for granted in the nine or so years I have been working there. For me, it has been the best university/school to cultivate my interest and passion in art. |
It was at ILM where I discovered my love for sculpture, which in turn made me into a much better digital artist. What other position in the world would allow me to come to work and talk about monsters with my fellow collaborators while getting paid for it? There, we work on some of the most high-profile and challenging projects the industry has to offer.
I was hired to first work on 'Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones' as a hard-surface modeler. Wanting to take a crack at creature modeling, I worked extra hard to prove myself that I also had the chops to model creatures. Andrew Cawrse gave me the one chance I needed. Without him, I would not have had the opportunities that have come my way at ILM.
Oil-based clay (Chavant)
This piece was a result of not sculpting for nearly a year. One day at work I just
decided to pick up a block of clay and started to sculpt the first thing that came to mind. In this case, a boxer who had just lost a fight. I wanted to portray the brutality of a fight that he just lost via his pummeled face and the way he stood.
Michelangelo has always been one of my favorite artists for as long as I can remember. I also used to read a lot of Mad Magazine. I remember loving Don Martin, All Jaffee, Sergio Aragones and Mort Drucker. They were all really fantastic artists whose style I tried to emulate on paper. I was also a huge fan of comic books and graphic novels. Some of the artists I followed were Alan Silvestri, Jim Lee, Travis Chaerest, Mike Mingola (back when he did Dracula for Topps), John Bolton and Frank Miller. Also, fantasy and sci-fi artists like Mobius, Syd Mead, Ron Cobb, Joe Johnston and Ralph McQuarrie influenced my imagination. In terms of artists who impress me now, there are too many to name. People whose works I constantly look to are: Carlos Huante, Andrew Cawrse, Kenneth Scott, Jordu Schell and a whole slew of traditional artists who dabble in the medium of clay.
I think the future points more and more towards users being able to output their 3D models into something more tangible. We see it now with rapid prototyping. I think the technology will get to a point where materials will be cheap enough so that 3D printing machines will be commonplace in any studio, or perhaps any 3D modeler's home set-up. As we progress through the next incarnation of CG modeling, ZBrush seems to be forging new roads to ensure that the process brings us closer to traditional methods of character creation. I think the new ZSpheres 2 is just a taste of how modelers will create characters in the future. As someone who sculpts, I am also really excited to see what the CG world will offer us in terms of technology that resembles real-life clay sculpting.