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leigh
09-19-2005, 07:09 AM
http://features.cgsociety.org/cgtalk/meettheartists/meatsmeier/header.jpg

Meats Meier
Resident Artist/Instructor
Gnomon School of Visual Effects

Meats Meier is currently a resident artist and instuctor at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects and teaches the first ever Zbrush course. Meats is the author of the very popular "Introduction to Zbrush" training DVD that is produced bt the Gnomon Workshop. He is also an award-winning digital artist (including two Expose' Master awards) with over a decade of experience in a wide range of artistic fields. Various titles include: airbrush artist, lead artist at a video game studio, technical director on feature films, and has had a successful career as an independent artist and illustrator.

Meier's artwork is on the cover of numerous books, magazines, and web sites. Meats was honored with the prestigious "Maya Master" title by Alias at SIGGRAPH 2003. Recently, his work has recently been featured on the cover of the Zbrush box and is the creator of the Maya 7 signature image and animations.

Related Links

Meats Website: http://www.3dartspace.com/
Be sure to check out Meats Meiers Demo Reel from 2003 for some cool matchmoved digital sculptures.
http://www.3dartspace.com/Reel/Reel.html

http://features.cgsociety.org/cgtalk/meettheartists/meatsmeier/1.jpg

http://features.cgsociety.org/cgtalk/meettheartists/meatsmeier/2.jpg

http://features.cgsociety.org/cgtalk/meettheartists/meatsmeier//3.jpg

http://features.cgsociety.org/cgtalk/meettheartists/meatsmeier//4.jpg

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Post your questions or request for critique

The "Meet the Artists" forum provides a conducive environment where CGTalk members can have the opportunity to speak to some of the finest digital art talents in the world! CGTalk members can post questions and artwork, and have them answered or critiqued by these master artists. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable insight from seasoned industry veterans!

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sphere
09-19-2005, 07:54 AM
Hi Jim! First of all congratulations on everything you have achieved.

- Was Cg something you have always wanted to do? How did you get into the field?

- You have quite a distinguished style. Is this something you consciously tried to develop, or was it a natural progression?

- Are there any major plans for after Gnomon or any dreams yet to be realised?


All the best for the future. :D

Akhen
09-19-2005, 08:32 AM
Hi there Mr. Meier

- I was curious as to where this unique modeling style comes from?

pkok
09-19-2005, 08:56 AM
one of my favorite art work of yours is that "little red human figures plant", sitting on the table, and struggling , hand reaching out, all seems like screaming for help. That work is really awsome! What is your inspiration for pushing the envelopes? Do you ever have enough time to work on art work/ projects either for your own project or commisioned work?

thanks

Leong

DrFx
09-19-2005, 09:05 AM
Hi, Mr Meier! Thank you very much for accepting to do the Q&A!
Question: Do you consider yourself an artist with a traditional art background, and do you think it's necessary in the field of CG?
Another: Most CG art gets frowned upon by the traditional art community. What do you think is the way to gain some recognition and respect?
Thanks, and your pictures are very inspiring and remind me of Arcimboldo, but with movement!

Darkmatter
09-19-2005, 09:18 AM
Hi Mr. Meier!

I must say, your work is really amazing!

The first post that described you said you have worked in the gaming industry. What do you think is the best way for a student to break into this area?

Thanks!

Greg

imashination
09-19-2005, 09:25 AM
Your first name is Meats, what's the best chat-up line you've managed to come up with?

rblitz7
09-19-2005, 10:54 AM
How did you come up with the Maya 7 cover art? Did you have many other designs before the final?

janimatic
09-19-2005, 10:59 AM
Hello Mr Meats,

i must say that your style renewed my hopes for modern arts.
I found your zbrush work more alive than what we use to see in many contemporain art gallery.
My question would be :
- your still pictures are amazing, can you transfert all this to animations as you wish ?
Ok we have displacement ... maps but you use a lot of 2.5d features in zbrush (like eraser brush etc...) can you transfert it as you wish to an animation package such as maya ?

Thank you for your kindness (and sorry for my english!)

bash
09-19-2005, 11:01 AM
Hello. As mentioned your style is pretty unique.. I was wondering if you'd mind sharing your
workflow (modeling wise) for stuff like the Maya 7 splash screen.
Do you have some kind of fast supertrick up your sleeves for creating all those threads and
wires or is it good old fashion hard work and headaches? :)

Edit: Well I guess this link (http://206.145.80.239/zbc/showthread.php?t=21455&page=2&pp=15) kinda answered my question as good as any, but
I'm still curious how your workflow usually go back and forth from Maya to zBrush. :)


Regards

Christer BjÝrklund

ynvamsi
09-19-2005, 12:00 PM
Meats Meier!, Meats Meier!, Meats Meier!, Meats Meier! :applause:


hey, I love u r work, u r a big inspiration to me. no questions, thanQ for participating in this forum. U R GREAT.:love:

maxspider3000
09-19-2005, 12:14 PM
hi Mr. Meats ...

- did u begine in this field by tour self ? or did u begin by tutorials from others ?

- can u talk a little with us about the films that u work on ?

so happy to talk with u .. :)

Terkonn
09-19-2005, 12:20 PM
You have some of the coolest original models ever. Which zbrush tool was used to make the cool organic wire look? Also, what drew you to cg training instead of production such as in the film industry? Thanks for visiting, it is quite the pleasure. -Josh

janimatic
09-19-2005, 12:57 PM
You have some of the coolest original models ever. Which zbrush tool was used to make the cool organic wire look? Also, what drew you to cg training instead of production such as in the film industry? Thanks for visiting, it is quite the pleasure. -Josh
i don't mean to talk for MM but here is a very usefull link for you (if you didn't read it already)
http://206.145.80.239/zbc/showthread.php?t=21455&page=2&pp=15
about wire style using grid as mask

Chris Bacon
09-19-2005, 01:06 PM
Hi Meats.....


I realy enjoy your work.....thers a cool contrast between organic forms and metal industrial materials....I tryed to do somthing like your work for my end of collage project....didnt look NEARLY as cool as your work though...lol.....

All the best

chris

Ramteen
09-19-2005, 01:11 PM
Hi meate , nice to see U here .first sorry for my bad english .
I wanna know is it any hope to me that work with some team in america .my location is iran , and I have strong skills to animating character .thanks for ur point , goodluck ...:thumbsup:

ThePumpkinKing
09-19-2005, 01:18 PM
Hey Meats. I love your work, and this probably isn't going to be my only post, but here's the questions I could think of now.

1. Why did you choose maya over the other packages available? Have you ever tried XSI (I'm an XSI user myself).

2. HOW DO YOU DO YOUR WIRE STYLE IN MAYA?!?!?!? (I know people will ask this before and after I do, but this should give you some added incentive to answer it, becuase I really want to know).

3. What is your favorite piece?

4. What setup are you using?

5. How do you get the ideas for some of your pictures, like redoing captain crunch, which by the way I loved. I used it in a poster against someone who was running for student council. I put under it "This is what Charles Lubic really looks like." Everyone, including him, found it hilarious, especially since everyone was floored by the picture, since most of them had never seen anything like it.

6. What was your favorite movie you worked on?

7. What exactly did you do on Sky Captain?

That's all for now, I'll probably be back later with more questions. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this.

MikeRhone
09-19-2005, 01:55 PM
Hey Meats!

I missed a chance to meet you in person when you were out in Denmark. It's a shame because all of the students still talk about you. You were very well liked!

My couple of questions:

You obviously are very artistic, and your style looks to be uninhibited by the technology... Do you ever find you need to fight the program to do what you want it to do? Can you give any examples of what holds you back in cg software?

You have lectured and taught students for some time, where do you feel most instructors can improve?

And finally,

What is the best weapon/fighting style to deal with an unruly class?

Mike R

p.s. A lot of the students were reading this thread as well... IN class time. Im talking to you Jakob.

jtuulos
09-19-2005, 01:59 PM
Hi Meats, I've always found your work especially inspiring.

Just one question comes in mind right now: Have you taken inspiration from some artist/style in specific? There's something surreal in your work, like Salvador Dali's or even Giuseppe Archimboldo's paintings.

PS. I too would be interested in how you create all those wires :D

ShriekWrought
09-19-2005, 02:15 PM
Hey Meats,

I've respected your work for quite a while. You truly have your own style and nothing you do seems to be slightly related to cliche cg.

couple of things I was hoping to get some insight into:

1) What artists or specific pieces have the greatest influence on your work/thought process?

2) What else might influence your work? (evolution of man? Darwinism? the complex, elongated musulature, compositions, and poses of Mannerism? heh i dont know anything?)

3) If you could rid the world of one thing, whether it's a characteristic, behavior, phrase, tradition, holiday, law, etc... what would it be?

4) If you could bring back one artist/historical figure into today's society, who would it be?

Thanks in advance and and congrats on everything.

eric

xX_eXiGe_Xx
09-19-2005, 02:54 PM
Hi meats!

I'm at the 2nd(11th class) year of high school here in sweden. And we're studying to work with paper when we get out of the school (in 2 years). I'm studying to work within the paper industry. But it's so boring, I feel like skipping many classes and be at home studying 3D!
Or i could also choose to continue on college/universaty about 3D/games, but i really can't do that either because they only accept people with high grades or with talents within painting(creativity).

Do you recommend me to skip classes if i tell you this?:
I'll skip school time to time, become pro within modeling, animtion and zbrushing and when i come out of school, i'll then start to work with 3D instead of going at those 3D colleges/universaties(2years/3years).

There is no future for me when it comes to school, because i totaly suck when it's about school.

The only future i really is 3D, please tell me what you think..
I relly need your inspiration..

other questions:
How old where you when you started 3D??
Did you go at a 3D school/collage/university??
What career would you choose: Cleaning/wash plates..Work with a boring job..or have fun working with 3D if your hobby is 3D?
What 3D app did you use??

Your a big inspiration for me, thanks.

gizmosart
09-19-2005, 03:14 PM
HI Meats I really love your modeling workflow,
I had save the image on my desktop (The Last Of The Leaves) so every day I've enjoy your Organic style. How long it's take you to create sometihng like The Last Of The Leaves?

nemesis_256
09-19-2005, 03:16 PM
Hey Meats! This is awesome, I've been waiting for this for such a long time! :bounce:

1. My first question was about your style. How did you get the idea/inspiration for such an incredible unique style?.

2. Meats Meier is a rather unique name. Is this your birthname? If not, where does it come from? And where are you from originally?

3. What exactly does resident artist mean?

4. You should make a poster for "The Last of the Leaves" with Gnomon! The other two are awesome, but The Last of the Leaves is definitely my favorite piece of yours.

I'll probably have more questions later, so I'll be back ;)

poly_counter
09-19-2005, 03:36 PM
meats.. I bow to your skillz. much respect.
all the questions you will have to field will be so technical. I have to ask a less technical one: what kind of inspiration (music, meditation, etc..) do you draw upon as you work?

thanks for taking the time to indulge all of us mere mortal 3d monkeys.

namaste

JakeJK
09-19-2005, 04:08 PM
Hey Meats,
You have an incredible impact on me, with your demo reel. I actually felt bad when watching it. The red dudes grabing on to nothing just freaked me out! very cool stuff!

Are you ever coming back to truemax as an instructor?
Btw it was great meeting you at the danish IT-university and at 3d college!

Best Regards, Jakob Kousholt


p.s. A lot of the students were reading this thread as well... IN class time. Im talking to you Jakob.

Damn.. you caught me! well.. this is my way of spending the 10 minutes break :D

Martin_G_3D
09-19-2005, 04:10 PM
Was your father a butcher?

MechaHateChimp
09-19-2005, 04:23 PM
Mr. Meier,

Thank you for taking the time to do this Q&A. Itís the very first time Iíve posted any questions to a seasoned veteran and I feel very privileged and honored to have this opportunity.

My questions mainly revolve around zbrush. I have recently bought the application and while I feel more comfortable working with this 3D app more than any other Iíve used in the past, I do have to admit I am still a bit of a newbie. When you first started using zbrush, can you please state what was the one tool or trick that sort of put you over the learning curve, or one tip about zbrush that you would recommend over all others to help beginners? Also, I noticed you do not have an interview available on the pixologic site, yet they used your art for the cover of their zbrush guide. Any chance youíll be doing one soon? Thank you for your time! Ė Joel Carlo

Kwago
09-19-2005, 04:32 PM
Is Giger one of your big influences?

DrFx
09-19-2005, 04:39 PM
Edit:Removed

Rebeccak
09-19-2005, 04:40 PM
Meats,

Congratulations, and I'm excited you are the featured artist! I have just one question for now...how did you arrive at your unique style ~ was this something that evolved over time, was it a happy accident, were there specific influences which you were consciously working with, or some combination of the above?

Also, does this make this thread, 'Meats the Artist'? :D I do like the cheese...:)

Cheers! :)

~Rebeccak

siquier
09-19-2005, 04:46 PM
Hi Meats.
Just to say that you have an unique style and this is what I value more in an artist. Your work transcends to the CG and raisin to the Fine Arts category.
Congratulations!!

ihamid
09-19-2005, 04:53 PM
hi meats
saying hi to one of my favourite artists! cool art u got there!
cheers!

loocas
09-19-2005, 05:08 PM
Hi there Meats,

I'd only like to congratulate you on the huge success you've had recently! :applause: Very well deserved! :buttrock: Keep up the awesome work, all thumbs up, all the best! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Romero
09-19-2005, 05:32 PM
Hello Meats, big fan so here goes.


1) Since you are so talented in utilizing Zbrush my question is, how much of an influence do you think Zbrush has had on your(and every other studios) work flow. I mean considering that it isn't that old of an app, what do you think are the most positive things Zbrush has to offer in pipeline?

2) What is your favorite app and why?

3) Who are some artists you look up to or use for inspiration if any?


Thanks, keep up the great work!

meats
09-19-2005, 05:39 PM
Wow, thanks for all the questions already, it's a nice thing to wake up to!
Thanks again to Leigh for setting everything up. :thumbsup:

Here we go:

sphere

Hi Jim! First of all congratulations on everything you have achieved.

Thanks very much. The guy called "Jim" actually died in Salt Lake. Meats took his place when he moved to California. I'm actually in negotiations (with my wife) to have my name legaly changed to Meats. I like the fact that it is a bit more memorable and a lot more unique.

- Was Cg something you have always wanted to do? How did you get into the field?

I started out as an airbrush artist. I was fairly known for that in Salt Lake City. I used to design CD covers and flyers for bands, you know that whole deal. I was lucky enough to get on the radar of a guy that was starting a video game company - Beyond Games. I worked with him as his main and only artist for a bit and he introduced me to Strata Studio Pro and then quickly talked him into an SGI and a license for Wavefronts Advanced Visualiser package. It was all 3d for me from then on.

- You have quite a distinguished style. Is this something you consciously tried to develop, or was it a natural progression?

It was a bit of both, I think. I've always had an obsession for describing forms using smaller forms and trying to get a lot of detail into my images, so it pretty much started there. I think my first 3d wire style image was put up onto Highend3d.com in 2000. I got some really good feedback from the first few images, so I just pretty much went with it. I love the fact that people can recognize my work without seeing a signature. It's a great feeling to know that I have a style that can seperate me a bit from other 3d artists.

- Are there any major plans for after Gnomon or any dreams yet to be realised?

My main plan is and always will be to create a full CG feature completely on my own. I'm sure that it's at least 5 years away before I even start. Even so, I'm always trying to learn new things in order to reach that goal. I've got a long way to go for sure.
Currently there are exciting things happening for me at Gnomon and I don't plan on leaving anytime soon. It's one of the most creative environments I've ever experienced, and the people and artists here are just plain amazing.

Akhen

- I was curious as to where this unique modeling style comes from?

It really just comes down to having a desire to let my creativity flow and to build a little on technique each time I sit down to create. It isn't an easy thing to be unique in the 3d world, I'm always hopeing to do something a little different than the guy before me.

pkok

That work is really awsome! What is your inspiration for pushing the envelopes?

A lot of my inspiration comes from just seeing some of the tests that I experiment with. Once I watch them play back over and over, ideas or ways to improve on ideas usually come to me. Mostly I just love what I do and never seem to run out of enthusiasm for it. Just trying to push todays current software always seems to lead me down some fun roads.

Do you ever have enough time to work on art work/ projects either for your own project or commisioned work?

Now that I am at Gnomon, I have as much time as I want for my own personal artwork. It just comes down to deciding whether or not I want to eat that week ;) . My job now really is just to make DVDs showing my working methods, so everything that I do is is my own decision for style, etc. I get to make art all day as long..somebody pinch me!
I also do a fair amount of commisioned work, but I only take projects that are either high profile or something really challenging to me.

DrFx

Do you consider yourself an artist with a traditional art background, and do you think it's necessary in the field of CG?

That always is a touchy question with some people, but I say that a traditional art knowledge base is very important to the success of a 3d artist or illustrator. All of the same rules apply for composistion, layout, colors, etc. I always say it's good to know the rules of art so that you can break them easier.

Another: Most CG art gets frowned upon by the traditional art community. What do you think is the way to gain some recognition and respect?

I believe 3d art will be the next big art movement. It will only take one or two break out artists to get the medias attention. They are always looking for the next new story. It's only a matter of time. The biggest problem is the digital factor, where people believe that a piece isn't as special when they aren't the only one that can possess a unique piece. I think that it will come down to mixed media, where it is apparent that each image was handled in some way and spent some time in the artists hands.

imashination
Your first name is Meats, what's the best chat-up line you've managed to come up with?

Lol! I've gone through the whole lot of them, everything from penis jokes to being a vegetarian, etc. My wife frowns on me hitting on the ladies, so I've had to retire most of them. I do find that it does help to have people remember me and my name, it just sticks out a bit and can create a conversation all on it's own. :)

rblitz7

How did you come up with the Maya 7 cover art? Did you have many other designs before the final?

I started out with 12 seperate main concepts for the design. After a few weeks Paula Suitor and Louis Fishhaulf (from Alias) settled on one concept - the fiber optic character and brain. I did about two weeks of different concepts along that path until we came to an agreement and I finished the design about two weeks later. I actually did all of the cover art when I was in Copenhagen and traveling around europe with my laptop and wacom pen.

janimatic

- your still pictures are amazing, can you transfert all this to animations as you wish ? Ok we have displacement ... maps but you use a lot of 2.5d features in zbrush (like eraser brush etc...) can you transfert it as you wish to an animation package such as maya ?

It kind of depends. If I am using Maya for my art, then that is of course easy (the Maya 7 image is fully rigged and animateable. Using Zbrush it's a bit different. Part of the reason I like to create in Zbrush is because it takes away most technical limitations. I can fill the canvas with many millions of polygons and it will never slow down. The down side is that it is more or less a 2d image with depth, so it is hard to transfer that to an animation program. If I did want to animate one of my Zbrush characters, I would need to take the original geometry, make displacement maps, and re-assemble in Maya and rig. It can be done, but would take me a bit of time. Also knowing that it was to be animated, I could plan for that from the start and it would be a fairly painless process.

-

Thanks for everyones compliments, it means a lot to me! I will be back to answer more once I get a bit of work done at the office :)

Darkmatter
09-19-2005, 06:17 PM
Hi Meats, you missed my question in the middle of page 1. Not sure if you just missed it, or you didn't have time to answer, or I suppose last possibility, you didn't want to answer it for some reason? :)

jetjaguar
09-19-2005, 06:19 PM
hi Meats,

I had the privledge of seeing your demo at the San Francisco Zbrush user group. It was amazing to see you knock out that lush biomech creature/city in less then an hour. You rendered out several passes for further manipulation in photoshop. If you could recap your rendering workflow, that would be sweet. Thanks so much for sharing your inovative technichs.

sincerly, Greg

meats
09-19-2005, 06:37 PM
Darkmatter

Sorry Greg, I did accidentaly skip over it :D

The first post that described you said you have worked in the gaming industry. What do you think is the best way for a student to break into this area?

Yes, I did 6 years as a modeler, level designer, a lead artist, and even worked with the programmers in creating the game engine. I had a great time doing games, I bet it's even better now that they give you more than 100 polygons for a character ;)
The best way to break in will always be to create some models or animations that impresses the guy who will hire you and convince them that having you on their team will mean that their game gets done on time or will have great graphics. Also meeting the right people is a major way to get in, check out your local user group meetings for your favorite software, or even better Siggraph. :)

mustan9
09-19-2005, 06:42 PM
Hello there Meats!

Your work is just amazing! Hope you can answer my questions.

Q 1) Why do you do the kind of art work you do?
Q 2) What kind of art do you see yourself doing 5 years from now?

Hexodam
09-19-2005, 06:56 PM
Hey there, just want to say extremely unique art you make, a true artist :)

one question, does it scare you when you wake up and check out cgtalk and find out you have hundreds of questions to answer? I have always wondered about this about everyone we have had on meet the artist

Ch3
09-19-2005, 07:09 PM
Hello Meats!

very original and inspiring work! I went through your galleries in your website and I can tell many of your digital creations are influenced by sculpture. So...

- Have you ever done any real sculpture?

- Have you ever thought, to remake any of your digital models into real objects?

- How do you feel that what you create doesnt have a physical existance?

I was thinking about that, after I finished an 8 months project. After so much time and effort, all I have is a video file in various digital formats, all dependant on a computer, with all shorts of compatibility issues. Nothing to touch with my hands, nothing to see without a monitor.


anyway... thanks in advanced for your time.

beelow
09-19-2005, 07:23 PM
Meats, you are a great inspiration to me. I just found out who you were about a year ago and now I am hooked to you artwork. I have a few questions though:

Meats, do you write your oun software to do some of those extremely detailed models??

What traditional Artists inspire you to do your work?

Just out of curiosity ,How old are you? because, I am only 21 and am kind of worried about how I will do in this industry! I don't know where I stand amongst the elite and great artists and digital artists around the world! I am looking to become dynamite and am wanting to one of the great digital artists for the next generation to come!

JosephGoss
09-19-2005, 07:47 PM
Hi !!



Your artwork is awesome!!



I just had to ask something, youíre the reason I am into digital art !



Anyway, I thought of something that would be really nice to know !!



How do you make up the complex images that you have created in Maya? (Your wire style creations?)



I know that in zbrush you use texture maps and morph targets, but in Maya, the workflow to produce those images must be quite different? I am guessing splines are involved a little maybe?



If you can answer, thank you and keep up with your awesome work!

thewave
09-19-2005, 09:17 PM
Meats, I was working in LA as a student volunteer. I wasn't able to make it to your presentation at the ZBrush area...and I was way bummed. I went the next day to see Rick Baker and low and behold...there you were.

I approached you after you were done with a conversation to say thank you for your inspirational works. You asked me if I got one of your posters, when I said no you promptly took me to the side and signed posters for not only me...but my friend and my buddy back home who couldn't make it to SIGGRAPH(he worships you and your work by the way).

I just wanted to say how really cool you were about some unknown person approaching you, and how very welcome you made me feel while in your presence. It is rare for someone who is as "livin' large" as you to be smooth with people who wish they could be you.

One day soon, I plan on making artwork which is good enough to stand side by side with yours...so I can have a little more indepth conversation with you about life, art and other things in general.

If you ever need some grunt work done for your feature film...I completely hand my soul to you and your vision. I would work for peanuts just to be a part of something you are guiding...because I believe in what you do, more and more, every time I see it.

Thanks for being who you are and producing the inspiration in people like myself the way you do.

Benjamin M. Dean
benjamin@shiverstudios.com

http://www.fuzionwave.biz/images/WIPDean4.jpg

meats
09-19-2005, 09:51 PM
bash

Hello. As mentioned your style is pretty unique.. I was wondering if you'd mind sharing your
workflow (modeling wise) for stuff like the Maya 7 splash screen.
Do you have some kind of fast supertrick up your sleeves for creating all those threads and
wires or is it good old fashion hard work and headaches? :)

Here is the basic workflow that I use to create wire characters in Maya -

I begin by creating a rough, low polygon, character the basic shape that I want the final to be.
I make it "Live" in Maya. This makes anything that is created later on stick to it's surface.
I create many curves that follow the design form that I want to accentuate. I start to weave the curves using the CV's so they flow around each other. Once I am happy with that, I extrude all of the curves into actual nurbs geometry. I then use the nurbs CV's for even more control of each of the wires. They are all done one at a time for the most part. I use Dirk Bialluch's (sp) plug-in crv2Tube to speed up the process of converting to nurbs.
http://www.3dartspace.com/web/maya7web/maya7_1.jpg
It's a very manual process of more or less digital basketry where I spend time and make sure there are no interpenetrating objects in the model. Moving one area makes it so I have to go in and make sure everything still is in it's own 3d space.
http://www.3dartspace.com/web/maya7web/maya7_2.jpg
I sometimes color code the wires, it helps me to see the different sessions or stages of the model.
http://www.3dartspace.com/web/maya7web/maya7_3.jpg
About half the way into the construction and a shot with how many I put in before deciding to cut a lot of them out for the final image.
http://www.3dartspace.com/web/maya7web/maya7_4.jpg
The completed model. 1500 seperate tubes. The one on the right is a test image that Alias said was "creepy". I agree :)
http://www.3dartspace.com/web/maya7web/maya7_5.jpg
An early mock up of the final image.

So the short answer is yes, it's lots of hard work and heart-aches.. :thumbsup:

loocas
09-19-2005, 09:58 PM
Absolutely outstanding! Stunning! Breath-taking!

:bowdown: :bowdown: :bowdown:

meats
09-19-2005, 10:27 PM
bash (cont.)

The way that I create wires in Zbrush is much different. I actually had to mess around in Z for a few months before I found a way to create it. I had a big break through after I had a visit from Pixolator (Ofer, the lead programmer for Pixolgoci. It's actually extremely simple in Zbrush to do. Here is more info: Zbrush Wire Style (http://206.145.80.239/zbc/attachment.php?attachmentid=6183)

Thanks Vivec and ynvamsi!

maxspider3000

- did u begine in this field by tour self ? or did u begin by tutorials from others ?

When I started, there really wasn't much information out there (93-94). Luckily, Wavefront sent about 15 large manuals along with their software and all the information was there. Also a lot of trial and error of course (which I love). I was paid to learn it all as well, so I admit I got very lucky. I did 3d for about a year and a half before I met any else that was doing it, I was pretty much in my own world. I remember dreaming about being stuck in a cabin during winter in Alaska with nothing but the manuals and a nice SGI with my tools on it...

- can u talk a little with us about the films that u work on ?

I spent a year at the Orphanage as a technical director/ compositor for Hellboy and SkyCaptain. I had an amazing experience there, I stuffed a lot into my brain during that time for sure. Great people at the O as well, I met some people that will be my friends for life. On Hellboy I worked with Matt Hendershot on the "Hellhole" in Hellboy. He did the brain work and I tried to make it look good and set it up to go in all the shots that required it.
I also did a bunch of commercials, one for SSX 3 where I had to matchmove video game footage and add in extra effects....it wasn't easy, what a weird thing to do :)

Terkonn

You have some of the coolest original models ever. Which zbrush tool was used to make the cool organic wire look?

Check above <or here (http://206.145.80.239/zbc/attachment.php?attachmentid=6183)> for the Zbrush technique.

Also, what drew you to cg training instead of production such as in the film industry?

Really it all came down to me having control over what I wanted to create. The film industry is exciting, fast paced, and you learn a whole lot, but it eventually started to burn me out a bit. I didn't do even one personal piece of art the whole time I was in production and that kills me a little each day. I believe CG training is the place to be in a way, because there are so many people that want to learn it that I won't ever be out of a job. I just chose to take a chance and to see what I can do on my own without just being a cog in a large wheel (being a cog is actually the less stressfull way to go).

loocas
09-19-2005, 10:50 PM
Really it all came down to me having control over what I wanted to create. The film industry is exciting, fast paced, and you learn a whole lot, but it eventually started to burn me out a bit. I didn't do even one personal piece of art the whole time I was in production and that kills me a little each day. I believe CG training is the place to be in a way, because there are so many people that want to learn it that I won't ever be out of a job. I just chose to take a chance and to see what I can do on my own without just being a cog in a large wheel (being a cog is actually the less stressfull way to go).

Sorry for quoting... however, I for one, would love to break into the large CG productions/film prods., so I guess I'll ask :) What would you recommend to do/be doing in such case? Who to approach, who to show-off to, where to go, etc...? Also, does it make any difference being a non-USA resident for that matter?

Thanks in advance for any insights :thumbsup:

remcv8
09-20-2005, 12:10 AM
Hey Meats,

My only post in the "who do you want featured?" section was MEATS!!!

I am stoked!!!

Anyway, I truley believe that you are a huge influence in the ever-evolving 3D community. You're growth as an artist is inspiring as well as your outlook on 3D art as a "true" artform. Thank you for carrying that enthusiasm.

My question to you is, What do you see for the future of 3D art with the growth of the industry and technologies? How will it effect the other 3D dependent industries like movies, gaming, design...

Do you see any other industries developing in our future?

See ya,

Robert McVey (remcv8)

Darkmatter
09-20-2005, 12:12 AM
Darkmatter

Sorry Greg, I did accidentaly skip over it :D

The first post that described you said you have worked in the gaming industry. What do you think is the best way for a student to break into this area?

Yes, I did 6 years as a modeler, level designer, a lead artist, and even worked with the programmers in creating the game engine. I had a great time doing games, I bet it's even better now that they give you more than 100 polygons for a character ;)
The best way to break in will always be to create some models or animations that impresses the guy who will hire you and convince them that having you on their team will mean that their game gets done on time or will have great graphics. Also meeting the right people is a major way to get in, check out your local user group meetings for your favorite software, or even better Siggraph. :)

Thanks so much for the reply! I forgot to tell you that I am in school so I am getting training in both 3d and traditional art skills. Do you know anything about the schools or gaming industry in Toronto Canada?

Also, can you look at a thread I have posted at cgtalk? It has something I have been working on, and I'd love some input. Nothing heavy, I don't expect you to spend a long time on it, any time at all would be really great!

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=275012


Thanks!

P.S. That walk through of your work earlier was absolutely amazing! Thank-you so much for taking the time to share that with us!

P.P.S. (sorry i never do pps's :eek: ) but I since your style is a bit "out there" (in a good way) I was wondering if you ever saw the animated short film "Ryan"? If not you should see it, I think you'd like it.

Hollywood Ink
09-20-2005, 01:23 AM
I don't have a question at the moment because luckily I get to work with Meat's five days a week. I just wanted to make a statement. I get to watch Meat's work all the time here at the Gnomom Workshop and every day I am just blown away by his work. Not to mention he is one of the coolest guys you could ever want to work with. He is very open and helpful with any of my stupid questions. I also recently took his Zbrush class and I have to say I have gotten so much out it.

Thanks for all your help Meats
Dean

InterFacer
09-20-2005, 02:29 AM
Hi Meats!

First of all, I would like to say that your work is a joy and inspiration to look at, and thank you for putting it out there for all of us to view.

My question comes as a student. I'm currently an art student at a local community college. I"ve enrolled in my first 3d class, and am working ahead of the class. I'm torn between what to actually study, as at the moment, modeling, rigging, and animation are my primary interests. I come from an art background, so once I learn texturing, i will probably be torn there as well.

As I would like to get a job in the film (primarily) or games (runner up) industries, can you suggest which area may be the best place to begin studying on my own?

also, in the subject of higher education, do you believe that job placement is dependent on which school you go to and the contacts that school has, or the worth/talent put onto a real?

Thanks Meats, your an inspiration :)

Kirt
09-20-2005, 03:06 AM
Hey Meats!

This is going to be a testament of how long I've been a fan of your work. In 2001 you released a demo reel to the internet entitled "The Future of Art" featuring the rt. Bot 22a rev.C and the infamous Error #246! :D I have the reel saved in one of my "favorites" folders and I enjoy watching it whenever I get the chance.

I don't really have a question for you since 3D really isn't my area of experience. I just wanted you to know that I saw this demo while I was in college and it was one of the inspirations for me to do my best there.

Your latest works are unique, creative and inspirational as well ... but I'll always remember the rt. Bot as one of those "dang I wish I could do that!" inspirational moments in my life.

Thanks! :thumbsup:

amannin
09-20-2005, 03:43 AM
HI HI,

I am studying/focusing my attention toward character animation, but at the same time, still evolving my modeling/texturing/lighting skills (just not as much), so anyways, my question is, did you start out much in the same manner?

Or, what I mean is, did you start off doing a little bit of everything, while focusing on just one area, or did you bounce around aimlessly learning what you could?

Also, how long after studying animation/3D, would you say it took before you got your first animation/3D job?

*One more thing* What would be (the most) crucial advice you have for a student, such as myself, wanting to get into the industry asap after graduating?

Thank you for your time.

emt33
09-20-2005, 04:52 AM
I am an art student conducting somewhat of a research. The following four questions are asking for the sole purpose of personal opinion. If you have the time, please answer to the best of your abilities.

1. What is art to you in your personal opinion?

2. As far as visual art, what in your opinion separates art that is valid for recognition and art that has no merit to it?

3. What are your views on art education? Is it necessary and what purpose does it serve?

4. Do you believe your morals dictate the reasons as to why you separate worthwhile visual art from other art? If you do, how do they? If you don't, then what dictates your reasoning and why does it?



Thank you for your time in reading (and maybe answering) these questions. I am attempting to get a broader perspective based on a diverse pool of opinion.

omega3d
09-20-2005, 05:12 AM
I would just like to comment,

Your work is apex. Incredible detail.

TheUnkind
09-20-2005, 05:43 AM
hi meats,

I just want to say that your work is truly amazing... thanks for sharing your creativity. Totally awesome, very inspiring.


Just wanna ask you, how long do you finish each of your masterpiece?



Thanks,


Jonathan|v9xi

SuperHero
09-20-2005, 05:54 AM
hi there Mr.Meier:bounce:
there are some questions that i want to ask you, i will be glad if you reply.
1_ how have you learnt to work with these fantastic softwares like Maya, ZBrush and so on?

2_ how did you make the cover art of maya 7 ? this is very important for me to know

3_ how can i make very realistic works like the film Dear Ann, Incredibles and so on?

one more thing, if you have some opinions and some hints in the world of 3D please tell me

please please reply as soon as possible:thumbsup:

meats
09-20-2005, 06:00 AM
Ramtin_moom

I wanna know is it any hope to me that work with some team in america .my location is iran , and I have strong skills to animating character

From what I've seen of your work, yes, you have as good as a chance as anyone else that comes here to work. If you really want to do it, make a goal and stick with it. Learn everything that you can and make it your life until you make it happen.

ThePumpkinKing

1. Why did you choose maya over the other packages available? Have you ever tried XSI (I'm an XSI user myself).

When I really got into 3d, I learned the wavefront package and the Alias package. Once they combined together and created Maya, it was the best of both worlds for me and I felt instantly comfortable with Maya and have used it ever since. There are just to many other programs to learn (matchmoving, compositing, paint, etc.) to worry about learning a new animation package - besides I'm really stoked on the new Maya (7). It made my life easier in a lot of ways. XSI does look sweet for sure.

2. HOW DO YOU DO YOUR WIRE STYLE IN MAYA?!?!?!? (I know people will ask this before and after I do, but this should give you some added incentive to answer it, becuase I really want to know).

Answered above.

3. What is your favorite piece?

I really don't have a favorite, but I would say that" Mother Nature" has done the best for me. It has made the cover of a lot of different random publications, even a new one last month. I'm glad it had a little bit of a life beyond it's inception.

4. What setup are you using?

At home I use a HP zd7000 laptop with two gigs of ram, and at Gnomon I have a dual Opteron system.

5. How do you get the ideas for some of your pictures, like redoing captain crunch, which by the way I loved. I used it in a poster against someone who was running for student council. I put under it "This is what Charles Lubic really looks like." Everyone, including him, found it hilarious, especially since everyone was floored by the picture, since most of them had never seen anything like it.

In 2001 I did almost all of the art for a cereal pack-in game called Captain Crunches Crunchling adventure. I built the captain for the game in 3d, which Quaker liked a lot and ended up using in some of their commercials for awhile. The cereal game was strangely the most widely produced game of that year at 7 million produced. Anyway, I had to see him so much while working on my own personal projects, I guess business and pleasure melded into one....
Your poster idea made me LOL! I hope you won.

6. What was your favorite movie you worked on?

Hellboy for sure. My real favorite will be my own someday <dreams>....

7. What exactly did you do on Sky Captain?

I did what every good man or child needed to at first - bluescreen removal. I then added elements to create, light and render scenes and then composite the footage to finish the shot. Pretty much everyone that works in visual effects probably worked on some part of that movie... :)

MikeRhone

Do you ever find you need to fight the program to do what you want it to do? Can you give any examples of what holds you back in cg software?

Yes, I mainly fight programs when it comes to crashing or running out of memory and not being able to get things done as fast as I want to be able to. The biggest thing that makes me hate computers is when you lose work in a puff of smoke - the computer or program crashes. I don't like to have to walk on eggshells with art creation programs. I don't want there to be limits. I look forward to the time when software and hardware are more robust and stable. I also have three years worth of work on two crashed hard drives...don't get me started on that.. ;)

You have lectured and taught students for some time, where do you feel most instructors can improve?

Probably when it comes down to listening to the students. I think we can get caught up in what we are saying a lot of the time that we don't get the special needs of individual students. I've got a year of teaching under my belt and I'm taking a break from teaching for awhile to recharge my batteries and to learn more so that I can teach more.

What is the best weapon/fighting style to deal with an unruly class?

I really haven't had to deal with that problem too much thankfully. It seems most students studying 3d are really there to learn for the most part. There are some students with rich parents or something that are forcing them to go perhaps, but unless they are disrupting the class, I really don't care what they do. It's their money, they can make what they want of it. A student will have to go the extra mile just to stand out, so the one in class that isn't paying attention - chances are they won't be around much longer anyway.

jtuulos

Have you taken inspiration from some artist/style in specific? There's something surreal in your work, like Salvador Dali's or even Giuseppe Archimboldo's paintings.

I don't think any one artist specificaly, but all art in general. I like so many different styles. Yes, I really like both of those artists. Currently I'm mostly into artists like Robert Williams, Mark Ryden, Micheal Hussar, and Kevin Llewellyn <kevart (http://www.kevart.com/pages/menu_pg.html)>.

janimatic
09-20-2005, 08:04 AM
Robert Williams, Mark Ryden, Micheal Hussar, and Kevin Llewelyn
aw i feel very uncultured i don't know any of these (will look for them!)
But the wires make me think of Alberto Giacometty drawings style http://newshare.bedfordschool.org.uk/Academic/Upper/departments/art/VISUAL%20DATA%20BANK/GIACOMETTI.jpg
You said you leaned a lot from mother nature i love this humble answer you must be a very kind person

Thank you very much for the maya tut! so there is no magic way to transfert zbrush work to maya, those are very different approaches..
Do you use maya construction history to animate such model?
Is nurbs an advantage for animation in such case?
You said it's fully rigged, is it rigged like a standard face would be, or are all the wires independant and "alive"
Would you use dynamics if you wanted to animate the wires ?

Thank you !

ps : i found very encouraging that you do both compositing and 3d work.
Actually it seem difficult to be employed for multiple tasks at a time in the cg industry.

bash
09-20-2005, 09:40 AM
Thank you very much for the "quick" ( :eek: ) thorough explanation. It seems like the most
optimized flow and at the same time keeping control of the outcome. :)

Edit: And after browsing for a short while I see you've already explained your workflow a
few times before also. I'm sorry for draging ut up yet once more! :thumbsup:
I guess it's part of the price of beeing unique. hehe.. well.. moving right along..

Oh Paris Paris
09-20-2005, 10:26 AM
Hi,

I'm a creative director in an advertisement agency.
What I do is to create stylish cool commercial cg films.
There are two ways to go:

- to make cool stuff which is already beeing made all over the world (its always the same u know)
- or to make independent works people are not used to see, make art in the advertisement area

which combination of two u would advise?
thanks a lot

nemesis_256
09-20-2005, 11:35 AM
Couple more questions :)

1. This question might be better for Alex Alavarez but I thought Iíd ask you anyway. How long does it typically take to make a Gnomon DVD? I mean do most of em have good takes immediately? Or do you sometimes screw up so badly you have to restart? And when people make a DVD when they model something, for example, Alexís head in Zbrush, is the model done beforehand and then re-done in the DVD? Or is it more like ďIím gonna make a model, and Iím gonna make a DVD out of itĒ?

2. I've tried out your technique you described on zbrushcentral.com to make the wire models and it works great! But what about using an external model from Maya? Things seem to be different when I try this. When applying the grid texture, the black parts are already transparent and when trying to delete them, things get all weird. What has to be done differently?

Ramteen
09-20-2005, 01:55 PM
Thanks alot for ur answer meats . really U give me a strong hope to keep it up .goodluck at all of ur life times .:)

bamboo
09-20-2005, 02:33 PM
Meats,

Your artwork is truly inspiring. I bought your intro to zbrush DVD just to see some of your methods of working. I was wondering if you were planning on releasing a DVD that would go through completing a huge project in ZBrush? Not so much technical aspects of the program, but techniques that you like to use. For example, the robot image you posted at zbrush central; even though you gave us the zbrush file to check out, the image still boggles my mind. Thanks for taking the time to talk to all of us.

Sincerely,
James Wilson

chadtheartist
09-20-2005, 04:46 PM
Hey Meats, I'm glad you finally got a Q & A session going. I haven't read all the posts in the thread yet, but I wanted to ask a simple question.

Do you think that specializing in one are of 3D is pretty much the wave of the future for 3D artists? I've been debating that question for a while now. I'd like to hear your view on it.

Thanks, and I hope you're having fun with all this attention. It's well deserved IMO, as you're one awesome fellow!

Take care,

Chad

meats
09-20-2005, 05:24 PM
eric_schall

1) What artists or specific pieces have the greatest influence on your work/thought process?

Lately artists such as Raymond Morales (intricate metal sculptor), the animator Bruce Bickford, and the director Tim Burton have been big inspirations to me. They all are artists that seem to take their own path with their art and create very special art that stands out to me.

2) What else might influence your work? (evolution of man? Darwinism? the complex, elongated musulature, compositions, and poses of Mannerism? heh i dont know anything?)

Nature always seems to be my biggest influence. It just blows my mind how much detail there is in the world, all the way down to a grain of sand. Also, everytime I see an artist having his own show I feel very driven to create more. I love to see artists just be about their art and making it happen.

3) If you could rid the world of one thing, whether it's a characteristic, behavior, phrase, tradition, holiday, law, etc... what would it be?

The ultimate for me would be to make it impossible for people to negatively effect other humans. It would be nice to live without the worry of violence or theivery. Then there's the old stand-by of curing world hunger, etc.
If I had to cut it back a little I would just get rid of any type of racism. Cgtalk has no room for political ramblings, so I won't get into the current president of the USA... ;)

4) If you could bring back one artist/historical figure into today's society, who would it be?

Great question(s). I would just love to sit down and teach Michealangelo 3d. I'm sure he would go off on it like no other...


xX_eXiGe_Xx

I'm studying to work within the paper industry. But it's so boring, I feel like skipping many classes and be at home studying 3D!

I think the good part about not doing 3d all day (like having to take regular classes) is that you can think about it all day long and plan in your mind what you want to do. It keeps the excitement for learning really strong. There may be a day when you do 3d all day every day and you dream about learning about paper again...well maybe not.

How old where you when you started 3D??

I was 23 when I created my first game with 3d elements in it. I wish that I could have started earlier (I couldn't have started much earlier, programs just were'nt available yet) but I am really glad in a lot of ways that I didn't - it gave me a chance to learn traditional art skills such as printmaking, t-shirt design, and airbrushing, which I know that having that knoweldge really helped me with the 3d skills.

Did you go at a 3D school/collage/university??

I am 100% self taught. I'm really jeoulous of the students at Gnomon, they get to learn from a lot of experienced professionals sharing their experiences and knowledge. My personal favorite way of learning is to just try and to do. I try something 100 ways before I get on the internet and search for the answer. Probably not the fastest way to finish projects, but the 100 other experiments build my knoweldge base for further tests, and I get a more in-depth feeling for the tools. Of course the rules are different in production. Stu Maschwitz at the Orphanage told me that I get one point for figureing out how to do something, but I get two points for just asking the guy sitting next to me.

What career would you choose: Cleaning/wash plates..Work with a boring job..or have fun working with 3D if your hobby is 3D?

Hmm, that's a hard one. Washing plates can be very rewarding... ;)
Doing 3d just for a hobby would be pretty cool too, none of the stress of deadlines.

What 3D app did you use??

The five major apps that I use are (in no particular order):
Maya, Zbrush, Photoshop, After Effects, and Boujou.

eliment

How long it's take you to create sometihng like The Last Of The Leaves?

The Last of the Leaves was one of those images that just kind of "came out". I didn't even think much about it when I was making it, just trying different things, and about a day later, there it was. That is the beauty of Zbrush, once you know the program, images come really easy.


nemesis_256

1. My first question was about your style. How did you get the idea/inspiration for such an incredible unique style?.

It was a very natural progression for sure. I think that if I did actual scultpure, It would involve wrapping wire around objects to describe the forms anyway, so I guess that's why I do it in 3d. I was lucky to find something that seperates me a little bit, so I take advantage if I can.

2. Meats Meier is a rather unique name. Is this your birthname? If not, where does it come from? And where are you from originally?

My real name is James. I got the nick name in High School because there was a restaraunt down the street called "Meiers Meats". My friends reversed it and the name stuck. Out of high school I immedialtely signed them all "Meats" and have ever since. Once I moved to California, I took it as the only name people know me by. (Except for Sean Mills, who likes to call me Jim, the jerk ;) )

3. What exactly does resident artist mean?

It basically is an artist that is on site and is paid to do his own art. Usually the resident artist will teach a few classes here and there to justify him or herself. The artist in residency thing for me has been a god-send. I don't have any art directors or bosses telling me what I need to create (at least when I'm not doing freelancing).

nemesis_256
09-20-2005, 05:40 PM
Thanks so much for answering my questions! :bounce: Those are interesting stories about your style and your name. I'll be waiting for you to answer the other 2 I posted later ;)

edit: and please make a poster for The Last of the Leaves! :D

ShriekWrought
09-20-2005, 05:53 PM
thanks for taking the time to answer my questions meats ;) .......and yes......Michelangelo would tear it up. Didn't matter what that man did, figurative sculpture, painting, architecture, he was an absolute master.

Kinematics
09-20-2005, 06:20 PM
Hey meats,

Thank you so much for doing this. I think your work truly is an inspiration to us all - nothing original for saying that huh? ;)

My questions are how do you go about coming up with concepts? Do u get on zbrush and just wing it and play or just keep working on maya till something good turns up or do u sit down and draw before approaching it?

Secondly, in your opinion, how would you know ones suited for this line of work? I feel very technically inclined but i value traditional art very much and wish i can be good at it...i can handle 3d softwares like maya pretty well and I have a roughly okay sense of composition, but compared to my classmates...i feel pretty darn bad.
Some of them, when they touch pencils and color pencils, they just create heaven and they do it SOOooo freakin fast...they draw nice and loose but with design in it, always comes out as a master piece. When I try that, if its loose its fun but i need to know my subject very well to have something decent, but when coming up with concepts, there is no way to study the subject well. :banghead: and everything just turns up not so nice :D

You seem to know very much traditional and everything else...when you were younger, did u ever feel stressed out that there were so many things to learn and each of these things needed ur undivided attention if you wanted to go anywhere with it? Ive been working hard everyday while balancing art school trying to fix every weakness i feel i have but im starting to burn out. :(

Thank you meats FOR ALL your help. Big fan here. love your work very very much

:applause: :applause:

- Wen Hao

meats
09-20-2005, 07:25 PM
Polycounter

what kind of inspiration (music, meditation, etc..) do you draw upon as you work?

I mostly like female singers, white rappers (that aren't eminem), and music without any vocals (when I'm really trying to concentrate on something). I like everything from Tool to the Beastie Boys. Living in Los Angeles has been great for inspiration, just so many unique and unusual things happening here.

Iceblaster

Are you ever coming back to truemax as an instructor?

I would love to come back. I think Rashid and I spoke about me coming back for a few weeks at least next summer. We will see...It would be fun to see all the Copenhagen folks.

Btw it was great meeting you at the danish IT-university and at 3d college!

It was great to meet you to! Good luck with your Zbrush site : http://www.zbrush.dk/

Martin_G_3D

Was your father a butcher?

I have to tell you that I read that to my wife and she laughed for 10 minutes straight. :)
My dad actually is a retired psychologist that now spends all his time on his road bike doing 100-200 mile races. He's really hard core at 60 years. He focuses on that the way that I focus on 3d...

Mecha Hate Chimp

When you first started using zbrush, can you please state what was the one tool or trick that sort of put you over the learning curve, or one tip about zbrush that you would recommend over all others to help beginners?

It really comes down to accepting the fact that Zbrush is different in almost every way from other programs. Once you wrap you head around the whole 2.5D concept it opens up a whole new way of working.

Also, I noticed you do not have an interview available on the pixologic site, yet they used your art for the cover of their zbrush guide. Any chance youíll be doing one soon?

I'm kind of embarassed, but Ryan Kingslien of Pixologic gave me a great set of questions to answer for that page, but I've put it off for about a year now :(
I spoke to him the other day and he said he doesn't hate me bad enough yet to still put it up.

Kwago

Is Giger one of your big influences?

Yes, when I was airbrushing a lot, he was my favorite artist. I actually discovered him because people kept telling me that my art reminded them of his. I went through a period that he was a fairly large influence, I think at least until I formed my own path.

Rebeccak

I have just one question for now...how did you arrive at your unique style ~ was this something that evolved over time, was it a happy accident, were there specific influences which you were consciously working with, or some combination of the above?

Hi Rebecca! It definately was an evolution. I started by creating individual pieces with the wire style and then eventually full images were taken over by wires. I can look at old airbrush art that I did and see that I always was into interweaving surfaces and detail. Using the 3d technology of today lets me duplicate and replicate and saves me a lot of time in the construction. It also gives me the ability to make changes, which is often the catalyst for new techniques and ideas.
http://www.3dartspace.com/2dart/images/IMG0014smll.jpghttp://www.3dartspace.com/2dart/images/IMG0004smll.jpg

siquier

Just to say that you have an unique style and this is what I value more in an artist. Your work transcends to the CG and raisin to the Fine Arts category.

Right back at you Juan! I love your work as well, I can recognize your images as yours a mile away..

yunisirees

Thanks much!

loocas

Very nice of you to say. Makes me feel really good!

Romero

1) Since you are so talented in utilizing Zbrush my question is, how much of an influence do you think Zbrush has had on your(and every other studios) work flow. I mean considering that it isn't that old of an app, what do you think are the most positive things Zbrush has to offer in pipeline?

The creation of displacement maps and normal maps are the benifit that Zbrush is mainly giving to the 3d industry. The tech has been used for some time, but now it gives us the ability to create the fine details directly on the surface in real time and to create the maps to be able to replicate our efforts in real time or for pre-render.

2) What is your favorite app and why?

Don't have any real favorites (at least over one another, each has their main strength), I use - Maya, Zbrush, Photoshop, After Effects, and a slew of tracking programs.

3) Who are some artists you look up to or use for inspiration if any?

The list is a long one, I will mention a few. Along with the artists that I've already mentioned:

Cam De Leon (http://www.happypencil.com/) The band "Tool"s artist.
Pascal Blanche, Linda Bergkvist, Carlos Huante, Peter Fendrik...

DirtEater
09-20-2005, 07:49 PM
Cam De Leon (http://www.happypencil.com/) The band "Tool"s artist.
Pascal Blanche, Linda Bergkvist, Carlos Huante, Peter Fendrik...

ooo, I respected you before, but you get a lot more points for mentioning Cam! He and yourself are huge inspirations for me.

As for questions, do you like the current state of the 3D community and the type of art that's being produced?

On the subject of inspiration, are there any authors or individual books you've connected with?

Thanks for taking the time to answer so many questions!

zsurM
09-20-2005, 11:43 PM
Meats,

Great stuff, it truly gets the gears in the head turning when you look at all the detail you've put into these works.

Don't think anyone has asked this yet but you have mentioned quite a bit that you'd like to create your own CG film, what would it be like and when do you plan on doing it?

Take care.

fabriciomicheli
09-21-2005, 12:20 AM
Hi Meats!
Im Fabricio. 3D Artist from Argentina.

Im following your work since I saw your "gas mask" in some gallery. Since the first time I saw your artwork I got very impressed because YOUR STYLE. We can recognize Meats Meier Artwork everywhere...
So my question is:
1) Where that style comes from? Do you have any background that defines the particular artwork you make? Influences? What is behind those intrincated wire models?

and second...

2) I know you're from Germany. Im from Argentina, a country where 3D is in its initial stage. What do you think that is the best way to an artist who lives in a far country to be recognized? obviously, apart from the quality of his work... I mean, as important as to be a good artist, is to show it? How was the path you follow from your homeland Germany, to the "mecca" of the 3D where you work nowadays?

And finally... I want to agree with Juan Siquier (another great artist). Your work is pushing the limits of the ordinary 3D: it's in the category of fine arts, and I wanna congratulate you cause you got what you need to be there: THE MEATS MEIER STYLE.

Cheers man!!! and thank for sharing your "wisdom" with the community.

meats
09-21-2005, 03:25 AM
jetjaguar

You rendered out several passes for further manipulation in photoshop. If you could recap your rendering workflow, that would be sweet.

Here are the basics:
Create a Zbrush illustration by placing objects onto the canvas. Use different layers for more control over the individual objects.
Render a "beauty pass" by hitting the render button.
When you are finished, save out several different scene files (same scene, different names).
Each new scenes materials can be changed to create the new passes.
Some of the passes I make are:
Shadow Pass (color everything white and make strong shadows) This image is usually set above the beauty pass in Photoshop with a multiply set.
Ambient Occlusion (here is a quick download for one: http://206.145.80.239/zbc/showthread.php?t=24222 ) Also a darken or mulitply.
Specular (color everything black with extra specularity) This image is placed above the beauty as well and set to screen).
http://206.145.80.239/zbc/attachment.php?attachmentid=7303

Ambient Pass example

The basic theory is to give you more control by rendering different images that represent different effects in them so that you can dial them in seperately.

mustan9

Q 1) Why do you do the kind of art work you do?

I try and do the type of artwork that I would hang on my wall (and do hang on my wall). I'm really only trying to satisfy myself for the most part, I'm just really glad that other people seem to like it as well.
People say that my artwork is scary, but I don't see it that way. I never have any violent or overly sexual content, I guess it's good that people can be emotionaly effected by an image that is mostly abstract.

Q 2) What kind of art do you see yourself doing 5 years from now?

I really, really hope virtual reality. I've been planning my world for sometime now. I will give you a pre-invitation to be the first to visit once it arrives. :)
Also I see myself really focusing on printing out my objects so that they can exist in the real world.

Hexodam

does it scare you when you wake up and check out cgtalk and find out you have hundreds of questions to answer?

A little, but I also really enjoy doing it. It has been a great experience for me so far, it has made me think about a lot of things that I normaly wouldn't have. The positivity has also made me feel just plain good. :)

Ch3

- Have you ever done any real sculpture?

I haven't really done any, I would love to, although. I've had a lot of friends that were very much into it, so I've lived a bit through them. One of my friends from Salt Lake City, Ryan Peterson, did a major amount of the sculpting on the fat guy that had to eat himself to death in the movie "Seven".

- Have you ever thought, to remake any of your digital models into real objects?

Definately. I keep starting to do that, but then I keep not going through with it. I think I really need to own my own machine to get really into it. I'm sure once the first one is born I will be hooked and it will financially ruined.

- How do you feel that what you create doesnt have a physical existance?

In my brain it does have an existance, I can turn my models around and look at the back of them. They are there to me for sure once I've looked at it for hours on end. And to any video game player that has had his ass kicked by a polygon character can attest to their virtual "realness".

beelow

Meats, do you write your own software to do some of those extremely detailed models??

No, I'm no Taron (kick @ss artist and co-programmer of Project Messiah). I'm not smart enough to do any real programming or even mel scripts really. I'm really good at downloading them from Highend3d.com and figuring out how to use them. I think that is a good enough accomplishment for a guy with my brain-power. ;)

What traditional Artists inspire you to do your work?

Among the artists that I have mentioned already - Sid Myde, Scott Musgrove, Bosch, Naoto Hattori (http://www.wwwcomcom.com/), Robert Chang, so many others.....

Just out of curiosity ,How old are you? because, I am only 21 and am kind of worried about how I will do in this industry! I don't know where I stand amongst the elite and great artists and digital artists around the world! I am looking to become dynamite and am wanting to one of the great digital artists for the next generation to come!

I'm 33 going on 18. Don't worry about the age thing, If your a good artist and you can gain a reputation as someone that can get things done, you won't have a problem. Just wanting to be a great artist is the first step, the next step is working harder than your competition and just going for it, not letting anything get in your way. Visualise where exactly you want to be. Now that I am doing just what I always wanted to do in life, I can't help but think there is something to it.

remcv8
09-21-2005, 04:30 AM
Hey Meats,

I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to answer so many questions. I've been reading through the majority of them and must say that I admire your gratitude.

I still can't figure how you have the time to do all that you do. Maybe little sleep at times, but you seem passionate, positive and very ambitious.

Huge thanks for the inspiration and all of the useful tips, tutorials, and overall fantastic artwork that you put out day after day!!!

See ya

Robert McVey (remcv8)

MuseSyndrome
09-21-2005, 05:24 AM
Hey Meats,

- If you were to learn CG all over again in this day and age, what changes to your education would you make (if any) and why?

- How do you prepare before you start a major personal project and how do you remain motivated?

- Tell us a humorous work-related story!

Thank you so much for your time!

- P.C.

meats
09-21-2005, 05:53 AM
JoeGoss

Check out my post a few threads up, I go over most of my wire technique in Maya. Let me know if there is anything more specific that I didn't cover. :) Thanks again.

thewave

Wow, what a cool post. I appreciate your nice comments. I'm glad we got a chance to cross paths!
Nice single wheel creature, btw. Nice design.

loocas

however, I for one, would love to break into the large CG productions/film prods., so I guess I'll ask What would you recommend to do/be doing in such case? Who to approach, who to show-off to, where to go, etc...? Also, does it make any difference being a non-USA resident for that matter?

Yes, sorry, I hope nobody thinks that I was bagging on anyone that wants to work in CG productions or films. It's one of the best jobs to have in the world. There is nothing else like seeing your name in the credits. As far as what to be showing to employers, it seems like they all really like to see 3d elements matchmoved in real life footage. Other than that, quality work is always a benifit.
I'm not sure how much being a non-USA resident matters in getting a job. I would assume that employers don't want to fly people from around the world to give them jobs when there are so many right next door to them. I would try and take the risk and move here first if it was something you really had your heart set on. Perhaps staying where you are and gauging employers interest in the first place. If jobs keep falling through because of the location thing, it may be time to move.

remcv8

What do you see for the future of 3D art with the growth of the industry and technologies? How will it effect the other 3D dependent industries like movies, gaming, design...

I believe that it really all comes down to real time. The holy grail. No longer having to wait for renders or to test things without having to have great patience. It is so easy to perfect a scene if you can try a 1000 different things quickly. Video games and virtual reality will merge...

Do you see any other industries developing in our future?

So many...video screens are going to be so cheap that everything will benifit from a 3d animation. It's just such a great way to show information.

Darkmatter

Do you know anything about the schools or gaming industry in Toronto Canada?

Other than Toronto being home to Alias, no. Sorry.

Also, can you look at a thread I have posted at cgtalk? It has something I have been working on, and I'd love some input. Nothing heavy, I don't expect you to spend a long time on it, any time at all would be really great!

Looks pretty cool. I like the mood that you have going. The low poly look is nice and stylish. If you keep filling it with stuff it will look better and better. Definately put a matte painting in there with destroyed buildings for as far as the eye can see.

Hollywood Ink

It's the Dean! I have the $20 for writing that stuff that I promised you. I'm stoked to have such an experienced artist (20 + years tattoo) around.
Dean is merging 3d art with tattoo work, he has some definate skills...check out his full back piece tattoo of an Alex Grey piece that he did <website (http://www.sickandtwistedtattoo.com/gallery_nav/andrews_thumbs.htm)>

InterFacer

can you suggest which area may be the best place to begin studying on my own?

What I would recommend is to think of an overall project that you would like to achieve and then break it down to the individual elements that you would need to know in order to accomplish it. Once you can do everything it takes to have an animation (or a short film even better) playing on your screen it is just a matter of getting better at each of those elements. The important thing is to go all the way and finish the project, even if it means doing it badly. The experience of going through the whole process is invaluable.

also, in the subject of higher education, do you believe that job placement is dependent on which school you go to and the contacts that school has, or the worth/talent put onto a real?

I don't think that any employers really care if you went to school or not. It does of course come down to your reel to get in, and experience to stay in. The school part comes into the picture because there is no better way to prepare yourself for all of the things that you may want to know about or didn't know existed. The other main benifit of school is your fellow students. They all are going to be entering the workforce and friends can be one of the best ways to find your way into various studios or new posistions.

Kirt

This is going to be a testament of how long I've been a fan of your work. In 2001 you released a demo reel to the internet entitled "The Future of Art" featuring the rt. Bot 22a rev.C and the infamous Error #246! :D I have the reel saved in one of my "favorites" folders and I enjoy watching it whenever I get the chance.

Kirt. Thanks big time for remembering that animation. I spent a good amount of time (6 months) on it and it will always be a rememberence of a great time in my life. It was really kind of how I got my real start in the 3d world when Leonard invited me to an interview about the making of it on InsideCG back in the day (2001). Thats so cool that you remember it. :) And that error still kind of makes me laugh. It, like the rest of the movie was just done as I went.
http://www.3dartspace.com/animation/images/future_of_art.jpg

If anyone is interested in the short film, the Future of Art you can check it out <here (http://www.sketchovision.com/animation/foa_320.avi)> 35 megs (DIVX format)

amannin

I am studying/focusing my attention toward character animation, but at the same time, still evolving my modeling/texturing/lighting skills (just not as much), so anyways, my question is, did you start out much in the same manner?

Yes, almost exactly. Except I mostly focused on Modeling, while learning everything else around it. I wanted my models to look as good as possible, so I studied shaders and rendering. Then I had to learn about lights and shadows. Animating things and even matchmoving and compositing are just tools to make my models look a bit better.

Also, how long after studying animation/3D, would you say it took before you got your first animation/3D job?

I started out working, luckily enough. My boss paid me to learn 3d because video games had just started be created with the new tool. It was the virtua-fighter days. Very low polygon counts. It was about five years or so after that before I even thought about freelancing other illustration jobs.

*One more thing* What would be (the most) crucial advice you have for a student, such as myself, wanting to get into the industry asap after graduating?

Work your @ss off. Look at images on this site and figure out how to make better images. Keep challenging yourself. Meet everyone that you can. Be cool with people and let things happen naturaly - don't look desperate.

emt33

1. What is art to you in your personal opinion?

It's anything that someone has spent time to create.

2. As far as visual art, what in your opinion separates art that is valid for recognition and art that has no merit to it?

Perhaps things that have been done over and over, such as artists that emulate the Picasso style, may not have as much merit. Although I don't believe it's up to me to ever decide if something that someone else has created has merit or not.
Most of the stuff I do doesn't have much merit, other than practice, so it still serves a purpose.

3. What are your views on art education? Is it necessary and what purpose does it serve?

I have a bit of a slanted view, I never went to any kind of school outside of High School, and on the oposite side I taught at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects for year. In a lot of ways I kind of wish that I had the opportunity to experience a huge knoweldge infusion like I see students there get. I wonder if I was around people that were searching for answers as much as I was, that I would have progressed much faster. It's not necessary, but usually a pretty good experience and choice if you can swing it. The people alone would make it worth it. I can sense a nice buzz in the labs, makes me think back to the time when it was all starting to unfold for me and the possibilities felt so limitless.

4. Do you believe your morals dictate the reasons as to why you separate worthwhile visual art from other art? If you do, how do they? If you don't, then what dictates your reasoning and why does it?

I think that all art is worthwhile, even stuff that I don't moraly agree to. I'm fairly open to new ideas for the most part. If it seems to me that an artist is just using a shock factor to make his artwork stand out, then I tend to dismiss it easier.

Squibbit
09-21-2005, 10:27 AM
you like earthworms and noodles much ?



.

Jauhar2k4
09-21-2005, 03:37 PM
Hi! hope you're in good health. My question:

As a young enthusiast to CG I've been working mainly with maya and the adobe suite, and as a young enthusiast I am quite unaware of what brilliant tools are out there, or resources, that I am not putting to use. Could you recommend anything that you have found has totally changed the way you work? Thanks :)

loocas
09-21-2005, 03:50 PM
Thanks a lot Meats for your answer, much appretiated ;)

So, all the best to the future! :thumbsup:

meats
09-21-2005, 04:01 PM
I just want to say thanks for everyones questions! I'm getting to them as quickly as I can. Keep em' coming, I promise that I will answer them all. :)

thanks omega3d!

TheUnkind

Just wanna ask you, how long do you finish each of your masterpiece?

Sometimes they come out really quickly (a day or two) and others I spend two to three weeks on.
Usually when I spend some good time on a piece, I end up with several different versions to choose from, as well as animation tests, etc.

SuperHero

1_ how have you learnt to work with these fantastic softwares like Maya, ZBrush and so on?

I think that the 3d transition was just natural for me for some reason. I can't really explain it. It just felt comfortable from the start. I think it comes down to the fact that I am very excited by the possibilites and also just really love to learn. Especially when it will mean that I have a new skill to add to the arsenal, or that I can do that much more. Zbrush was another program that I felt close to right away. I thought the whole hybrid concept was (and is) brilliant.

2_ how did you make the cover art of maya 7 ? this is very important for me to know

Check earlier in this thread. Let me know if there is anything else that I can get into more detail on.

3_ how can i make very realistic works like the film Dear Ann, Incredibles and so on?

Practice, practice, practice! Also working with a huge talented and experienced team is the way to go.

one more thing, if you have some opinions and some hints in the world of 3D please tell me...

Just to say that the bar is always being raised in 3d, if you really want to do great things you have to work harder than people around you. Having a life and being really good at 3d sometimes won't go hand in hand. The payoff can really be worth it, and it beats flipping burgers. :)

gizmosart
09-21-2005, 04:10 PM
Thank you Meat. I've still need to learn more about the Zbrush workflow.
One more thing I like to ask you If don't mind. If you have a Free time
can you post stap by stap tutorials on modeling
wire charecter,
in Maya or Zbrush
'
PS Thanks alot Meat Have a nice time I've allways going to enjoy your Works

ps
09-21-2005, 05:42 PM
- Is it hard to get into this industry, and be someone who decide, not olny work? I creating computer graphic about 10 years (since I was 12 years old kid), now I'm studying (physic) and trying work anywhere (as web designer or in small game company where I must do everything and have nothing to say), but i'm not shure if there would be work for me, when I will end study. When I was starting "bar" was very low, today is higher evry day, and I won't be olny modeler or animator, I want do evrything, but today I see big specialization in it.

- Do you think that digital art someday achieve status fine art (like photography). In my opinion many artis (including you) deserve to this status, but today evrything in "computer graphics" chamber. I seen ony couple of times digital art accepted by art word, and always it was with artist who was famous in traditional medium (like Zdzislaw Beksinski http://www.beksinski.pl/). And If it would be healthy? Today "digital art" is free because nobody care about higer aspiratons, most important is craft, and there is big democracy in comunity.

Sorry for my english.

TheUnkind
09-22-2005, 03:28 AM
Thanks, Meats you really are a great guy! :thumbsup::thumbsup:

antone-m
09-22-2005, 10:24 AM
I like you work very much Mr.Meats :thumbsup:
I only have two questions :

1-what is the best way to be very good modeler ?
2-I`am not a good drawer:bounce: ,Do you know a good way to learn 2d drawing/sketching ?

thanks for reading :)

andy_maxman
09-22-2005, 11:52 AM
when i first saw your FOA animation.....i knew nothing about character animation.....i thought it to be really crazy stuff.....i was like....'what was this guy thinking'? and then checked out your site and absolutely fell in love with the matchmoved animations.....
have always admired matchmoved animations.....

a few years later....i saw it again...this time i must have been about 8-12 months into learning to animate....and when i saw FOA again.....i was like.....

'jeez....! how did he ever rig that thing......and how did he ever animate that.....i can lay a bet....it had to do with a lot of focusing......it was super awesome....

man! all i gotta say is i loved that part of your work way too much.....very influential.....

cheers!
-anand

meats
09-22-2005, 05:11 PM
Sorry that I didn't answer any questions, I didn't have access to the internets last night.. :(

janimatic

so there is no magic way to transfert zbrush work to maya, those are very different approaches..

No, actually you can transfer anything back and forth between Zbrush and Maya very easily by exporting and importing the .obj format. With Zbrushes multi resolution capability, you can decide at which level you want to export at, so it can work for animation, etc. THe only thing that doesn't transfer is when I create an illustration within Zbrush using it's 2.5d tools. Once I drop it onto the canvas, it is converted to Pixols which Maya can't read.

Do you use maya construction history to animate such model?

Yes, if I want to animate the growth of a curve along a spline then for sure I do. Other wise I create a "wrap" using a low polygon object and animate that (then the high detail curves follow).

Is nurbs an advantage for animation in such case?

For sure, especially if you use history as mentioned. Nurbs are easier for me to model with in this case because I can just move a few points here and there and not each individual polygon.

You said it's fully rigged, is it rigged like a standard face would be, or are all the wires independant and "alive"

I started doing it with the independent method, but it killed my computer more or less. I had to go with the wrap version of animation in this case. Just too many nurbs tubes. Maybe in the future I can do it.

Would you use dynamics if you wanted to animate the wires ?

That was my original plan, I wanted all the wires to fly in and form the face and weave around each other as they came together. Time constraints nixed that one right away sadly.

Oh Paris Paris

What I do is to create stylish cool commercial cg films.
There are two ways to go:

- to make cool stuff which is already beeing made all over the world (its always the same u know)
- or to make independent works people are not used to see, make art in the advertisement area - which combination of two u would advise?

It's defiantly a tought one - you don't want to scare people with things that are too far out there or confusing. But at the same time people get bored seeing the same type of things over and over. I think if done well, people like to see old concepts done in fresh and exciting ways.



nemesis_256

1. This question might be better for Alex Alavarez but I thought Iíd ask you anyway. How long does it typically take to make a Gnomon DVD? I mean do most of em have good takes immediately? Or do you sometimes screw up so badly you have to restart? And when people make a DVD when they model something, for example, Alexís head in Zbrush, is the model done beforehand and then re-done in the DVD? Or is it more like ďIím gonna make a model, and Iím gonna make a DVD out of itĒ?

The way that Alex makes DVDs is much different than the way that I do. He is a born educator and can probably make a DVD a day if he wanted to (luckily he lets other people have a chance ;) ). On Alex's DVD for the Zbrush head modeling, he just started out with an idea and just started recording, talking about it as he made it and 8 hours later, there it was. He defiantely went through the process a few times and made sure that he knew what he was talking about it and good at it before he did it.
Me, on the other hand, am not very good at the recording process. I can do it, but I have to sweat blood to get it done, more or less. I have a bad combination of a bit of perfectionism mixed with insecurity, so I find myself second guessing myself a lot when it comes to recording the vocals. I want people to be happy with their purchase, but more importantly learn the program in question with as little trouble as possible.
It took me over a month to do my "Introduction to Zbrush" DVD. I know people that have spent over a year creating a single DVD (packed with info). It really comes down to the title and how complex you want to go into it.
The hardest thing to do is to create art and also talk elequently about it at the same time. It takes both sides of your brain to do that and it can be very challenging. My current dvd was recorded without sound so I could be creative (26 hours) and then cut down and now I have to do the voice over seperatly.

2. I've tried out your technique you described on zbrushcentral.com to make the wire models and it works great! But what about using an external model from Maya? Things seem to be different when I try this. When applying the grid texture, the black parts are already transparent and when trying to delete them, things get all weird. What has to be done differently?

Yes, the technique really only does work when you create the model with Zspheres. Zspheres create the mesh and texture layout perfect for this, and it works every time. If you start with an excisting model, you will run into trouble (bad edges, etc.)

edit: and please make a poster for The Last of the Leaves!

Thanks much! I will look into it. :)

meats
09-22-2005, 05:46 PM
bamboo

Your artwork is truly inspiring. I bought your intro to zbrush DVD just to see some of your methods of working. I was wondering if you were planning on releasing a DVD that would go through completing a huge project in ZBrush? Not so much technical aspects of the program, but techniques that you like to use. For example, the robot image you posted at zbrush central; even though you gave us the zbrush file to check out, the image still boggles my mind

Thanks for asking. I just finished the creation part of my next DVD - "Zbrush illustration" where I go through an entire illustration project beginning with an idea and ending up with a poster sized image suitable for printing.
I just need to do the voice over and it will be released. I'm really excited about it.
http://www.3dartspace.com/web/Zillustration_2.jpg

chadtheartist

Do you think that specializing in one are of 3D is pretty much the wave of the future for 3D artists? I've been debating that question for a while now. I'd like to hear your view on it.

Hey Chad! Congrats on your success lately, hope you are enjoying southern California!
I think now and the next few years specializing is a good way to go.
But - I really think the future will be a bit different for 3d artists. Because programs are getting more intuitive, faster, and easier to use, 3d artists that know how to do the whole process (one artist one shot) will be the ones in major demand. I kind of think of it as a sketch artist that has to schedule time with the "eraser guy" to do a fix, and then hope that the guy who turns the page in his sketchbook is around so he can do another one when he is done. The tools are too accesable to specialize in the not to distant workplace. It's easier for companies to hire someone that they know can do a wide range of things instead of worrying that the one thing that a guy can do doesnt need to be done anymore, so they have to lay him off. Big companies now of course are really in to specialization. That will change once they see the new boutique companies get things done in less time and way less budget. It will happen. Maybe 8-10 years?

Kinematics

My questions are how do you go about coming up with concepts? Do u get on zbrush and just wing it and play or just keep working on maya till something good turns up or do u sit down and draw before approaching it?

My personal creation method is just that. The tools are good enough now that they have replaced my sketchpad and now I sketch a 100 % in 3d. I can create something that has a back and front and I can pose in less time than most people can just draw a 2d image out. It seems like an antiquated system to me from where I stand. It will take a while before the old guard is just a memory, but it will happen. Did someone say Zspheres? ;)
The key for me is just to create something. It doesn't matter how good it is, just being able to look at it and spin it around will give me an idea of where to take it next. I just need to plant the seed.

Secondly, in your opinion, how would you know ones suited for this line of work?

Usually people that are really suited for 3d art (not tech stuff) are the people who already have been into drawing and creation in some way. People that have spent time making stuff seem to be able to jump in and use the new tools pretty easily if they are motivated and have the time to make it happen. If you don't feel very artistic, there are lots and lots of jobs for the more technical minded - matchmoving, technical direction, scripting, etc. (not that there isn't an artistic element to each of these other areas of interest).

You seem to know very much traditional and everything else...when you were younger, did u ever feel stressed out that there were so many things to learn and each of these things needed ur undivided attention if you wanted to go anywhere with it?

Not stressed, but excited to know that my job will never be boring because there is so much to learn and do. I just let it happen naturally, I've never really pressed it too hard. Every job that I have got was offered to me because of something that I did before. I just try to get whatever that I'm doing out there and hope that it will catch some attention.

DirtEater

I respected you before, but you get a lot more points for mentioning Cam de Leon!

Yeah, Cam is great. He was just at the workshop a couple of days ago. He rules as and artist and as a great guy. He is learning Zbrush right now and kicking ass! You can see his style in his 3d work perfectly. He is a huge, huge inspiration. He is working with Nvidia helping them with their next generation demos.

He even hooked me up with Nvidia to create a real time fly through version of my Zbrush piece "Primitive City".
http://www.3dartspace.com/3dart/images/newz/primitive_small.jpg

do you like the current state of the 3D community and the type of art that's being produced?

I do really like a lot of it. Even the things that are becoming a bit cliche'. I love to see the advancements in the field that I have chosen. I love to see how realistic things are getting now with things like the Maxwell renderer (that I am beta testing).

On the subject of inspiration, are there any authors or individual books you've connected with?

I was stoked on the book "Maya 6 killer tips" book that was written by Eric Hansen (that was a plug for my office mate ;)) It is actually a great book and I learned a bunch of stuff that I didn't know which is a very valuable thing for me.
Otherwise, I really don't buy any 3d books, I just read the ones that my art is in or on, and gets sent to me. The Expose series is one of my favorites for sure. Stop Staring by Jason Osipa is excellent. The Maya and Photoshop by Daniel Grey is cool as cheese and I also recommend "D'artist Character modeling".
http://www.3dartspace.com/main_images/cvrs_maya_photoshop.jpg

zsurM

you'd like to create your own CG film, what would it be like and when do you plan on doing it?

The original idea was "The Future of Sex". It will star the Luv Bot, which has a bug in it's system that makes it turn evil for a period of time (usually the worst time). It's sort of a Jeckel and Hyde style story. <Link to the old trailer that was on the Independent Film Channel back in 2001 (http://www.sketchovision.com/fos_trailer.html)>
http://www.sketchovision.com/images/julie_1.jpg

ilusiondigital
09-22-2005, 06:44 PM
Heyyyy, Meats, how are you, friend?

I really love your detailed workflow (has impressed me)

How many time are you working in the cinema industry?

And your purposes for this year (professional only heheh)

Thanks, you are the best (and a very good dude)

Sincerely

Victor Marin

soulburn3d
09-22-2005, 06:51 PM
Hey Meats! Just a question on something you already answered:

> Sometimes they come out really quickly (a day or two) and others I spend two to three
> weeks on.

Is that like a normal work day, 8-10 hrs, or is that like evenings? Just curious, since your position does allow you the possability of spending all day doing your own thing (and I'm jealous <G>). Since I work a regular work week, I have to sqeeze my personal art time into nights after work and dinner (I try and do at least 3 a week).

> I kind of think of it as a sketch artist that has to schedule time with the "eraser guy" to
> do a fix, and then hope that the guy who turns the page in his sketchbook is around so
> he can do another one when he is done.

That analogy is just awesome BTW!

Anyways, keep up the cool work, and glad I got to meet you briefly during your stint at the O.

- Neil

ae24
09-22-2005, 10:02 PM
Hi, I want to know how do you compare Maya to Zbrush in the creative process of your models?
I am a traditional illustrator and I've been using maya, but never tried Zbrush and I'm curious to know what you think about it.
Your images are FANTASTIC! thank you for sharing your talent.

meats
09-22-2005, 10:24 PM
fabrizzzio

1) Where does that style comes from? Do you have any background that defines the particular artwork you make? Influences?

I actually credit being forced to attend church when I was young. It bored me so much that I filled the entire hymn print-out cover to cover every sunday. Maybe that is why devils appear in my work a lot, I don't know. The idea of the devil sitting on my shoulder and telling me to sketch funny pictures of the people around me when I should have been listening to the sermon.

What is behind those intrincated wire models?

The wires are just a representation of the larger form.

2) I know you're from Germany. Im from Argentina, a country where 3D is in its initial stage. What do you think that is the best way to an artist who lives in a far country to be recognized? obviously, apart from the quality of his work... I mean, as important as to be a good artist, is to show it? How was the path you follow from your homeland Germany, to the "mecca" of the 3D where you work nowadays?

Actually, I am from Salt Lake City, Utah, in the USA. A lot of times when I meet people, they say "I thought you were going to be some huge angry German guy". So I can see the confusion. :)

My path may not have been that much different no matter where I was from.
I just started to create a lot of 3d images that I was just having fun making.
I made sure to post them to as many 3d forums and galleries that I possibly could have.
I made a web site and got people to link to me.
I met people on the internet that knew people that knew people.
I always agreed when I was lucky enough to have someone that wanted to use or promote my work.
I did a good job and was honest and on time when doing freelance work, no matter how big or small.
I don't prentend to know everything, instead always on the lookout for the gabillions of things that I don't know about.
I love what I do :)

I want to agree with Juan Siquier (another great artist). Your work is pushing the limits of the ordinary 3D: it's in the category of fine arts, and I wanna congratulate you cause you got what you need to be there: THE MEATS MEIER STYLE.

Yes, Juan rules for sure.
Thank you sir for your kind words! <bows>


remcv8

Thanks again <big time> for your support - it means a lot to me :)

Darkmatter
09-22-2005, 10:37 PM
Damn Meats you're totally rocking this thread! You're a machine! :)


I was wondering, what do you think is the best way for a person in Canada to get a job in the US? CA is the place to be, but I dunno how to go about getting down there and getting a job once I am done school. I know its not easy since they don't hand out green cards/work visa's like water...:( On top of those parts, what about actually getting dual citizenship so I could actually be a US citizen so I would have no headaches if I wanted to live perminently in CA?

I have heard that some companies actually help you get down there and help you get your paperwork in order. I know that they wouldn't do that for a guy straight out of school, but any info that you could share would be great. It seems nobody really knows whats involved. If you have no idea about any of these questions, do you possibly know where I should go to get the answers?

Thanks a bunch! Keep it up and people will run out of things to ask you! I think if that happends you win at life. :)

danielkenobi
09-22-2005, 11:30 PM
Wow I just read the whole thread and is pretty inspiring, I think mos of us who got in to 3d are here because we love what we do, But some of us are not as tallented as we would like. Congrats you really are a born artist, I hope some day to work besides you. I will go to work now have a lot to improve. :wip: good luck:wavey:.

chadtheartist
09-23-2005, 03:48 AM
It's easier for companies to hire someone that they know can do a wide range of things instead of worrying that the one thing that a guy can do doesnt need to be done anymore, so they have to lay him off. Big companies now of course are really in to specialization. That will change once they see the new boutique companies get things done in less time and way less budget. It will happen. Maybe 8-10 years?

Interesting. Definite food for thought. And so far I'm liking CA!

vvmanoj
09-23-2005, 05:43 AM
Hi Mr Meats,
I am just doing some of your DVDs and the showreels in them are awesome! So are the DVDs :D
I was curious about your educational background? Do you have an art degree? How important do you feel a related education is in the CG field?
Cheers,
Manoj

asparta
09-23-2005, 11:35 AM
it was really boring to look whether my question was asked, and after the second page i skiped them...it's so simple - the thing i want to know, and i'll be glad if you answer to me...

...you had an idea about one person production, do you still follow that and working on it??
...and what made you think it worth it?

fabriciomicheli
09-23-2005, 12:10 PM
Thanks for share this thread with us Meats and answer every question!
You're an answer-machine man!!! :thumbsup:
(BTW... I think that most people think that you're german...)

jtuulos
09-23-2005, 12:27 PM
Hi again!

Just read the whole thread through and a couple of more questions came in mind:

1. My dream job would be an art director in an advertising company making tv-commercials etc. I've used Maya, Photoshop and After Effects for a while, but the only app I don't seem to have is some kind of a tracking program. You mentioned Boujou (I've heard of thar before), and I have Maya's Live. Now that I think of it, I really should get into this 2d-3d-compositing/tracking, because that's what most of the vfx commercials are about. Do you have experience on Maya's Live plugin or could you recommend some match-moving program to start with?

2. You hinted earlier in the thread that you got a job via internet just by sending pictures to forums and spreading the word about your work. Did you have to actually search for a job or did it just come to you while you were waiting? According to what I've been taught one should never just wait and see if something comes ahead (if you want to be successful and end up doing what you really like). Maybe it's just here in Finland nobody checks the forums (like CGTalk) for future workers/talents.

meats
09-23-2005, 05:08 PM
blitzze

- If you were to learn CG all over again in this day and age, what changes to your education would you make (if any) and why?

Hmmm, that's a great question. Some parts of me wish that I could have attented (and excisted at the time) a school like Gnomon for the sweet information dump into my brain. I think as a whole, I would have a hard time changing anything. All of the hard times that I have had in the past all lead up to who I am and what I do now, so it would be hard to change something without altering my whole path.

- How do you prepare before you start a major personal project and how do you remain motivated?

I usually begin by getting a idea that excites me enought to go through the whole process. After I get the idea, I just jump right in and start making stuff, even if it is just to get other ideas. Once I have something in 3d that I can see posed and lit various ways, the real good ideas come to me. When I get to a certain point, I sometimes search out reference pics or what-not. I don't have a problem keeping motivated if my project is going well. It's when I start to doubt my direction that I can lose interest in it..or if a better idea or direction comes along, that has a way of making a project not coming to fruition.

- Tell us a humorous work-related story!

I have a whole bunch of Gnomon stories that make me laugh even thinking about them, but I don't want to embarass or piss anyone off here at the shop, so here is an Orphanage one:

It was my first week at the Orphanage and they were still ramping up for the work they wanted me to do, so they didn't have any work for me yet.
Aaron Finger (I think the project supervisor) told me to go take it easy that day, and recommended me to go visit a nearby beach (the O is in the Presidio, surrounded by beautiful oceans, the bay, and the Golden Gate Bridge). He said I would be crazy if I didn't go check out Baker Beach, which was very close. So I hop on my motorcycle and cruise on over and find a little hidden path that went down to the ocean. As I was walking down, I started to notice that there weren't many swimsuits being worn, and that they were all men. "Ha, Ha, Aaron, good one", I thought to myself - "he sent me to a gay beach". I hung out for a bit, got chatted up a few times by some dudes, and decided to take off. I decided to try a different path back. On the way back the path became narrower and finally led to a tree surrounded clearing. I've seen a lot of things in my life, but life in Salt Lake City hadn't prepared me for what I walked into. I won't go into detail, but I am guessing that it was some type of internet meet-up for guys and other guys that like guys. I had to walk through the "gauntlet" for a spell, and I couldn't take it anymore. I decided to create my own path out. I cut right through the brush and had to bushwack it up and over all the vegetation. I got on my motorcyle and went home. The next morning, I woke up itching. By noon of that day I was sporting some of the worst case of Poisen Oak that I have ever had (I'm very allergic to it). It was over 90% of my body, and all over my face. A stem of the Oak had pretty much punctured my face and I looked like I was in a bar fight...
The O wouldn't let me work for the next few days. It was a great way to start out in a new place... :)
Also, the pic of me on the Intro to Zbrush DVD was taken during that lousy week.

maxspider3000
09-23-2005, 05:25 PM
hi meats again .. :)

i wanna tell u that u r the first artist that i aske many quis ...

i feel that u r a gr8 artist with a new vision ... so am so gr8ful .. :)

ok here is mine :

1- r u happy until now ? and feel that u reach to a good place ?

2- did u c any work 4 any Arabian artist and u like its work ?

3- what do u think about CG in the arab world ... i just wanna read ur opinion ... :)

4- what is the film that u hope to work on its team ... or any previoues filmes ?

5- what is the thing that u r missing in the CG industury ?

finally ... excuse my bad english ... nd so happy to talk to u ... :)

meats
09-23-2005, 05:25 PM
Squibbit

you like earthworms and noodles much ?

He he. Yeah, I like both of them, but not together as a meal.
Reminds me recently that someone mentioned a bowl of noodles in the "hardest thing to model thread".

Jauhar2k4

As a young enthusiast to CG I've been working mainly with maya and the adobe suite, and as a young enthusiast I am quite unaware of what brilliant tools are out there, or resources, that I am not putting to use. Could you recommend anything that you have found has totally changed the way you work?

Zbrush is the main thing that changed or added to the way that I work. Listening to a DVD put together by a proffesional with different working habits has the possibility to change the way I work as well. There is just so much to learn even with the current tool sets.. :)

eliment

If you have a Free time can you post step by step tutorials on modeling wire charecter,in Maya or Zbrush

Earlier in the thread I spoke a bit about this. Let me know if I can flesh something out for you in more detail.

ps.pl

- Is it hard to get into this industry, and be someone who decides, not only works?

I think that it must be. You have to prove yourself first as someone who can take and carry out orders before you can be the one giving them. Also, it is a great benifit to really know the process before you ask someone else to do it. Going on your own and making your own path in the art world is both the most scary and rewarding experiences out there. Just don't jump too soon. You will know when it is time...

Do you think that digital art someday achieve status fine art (like photography). In my opinion many artis (including you) deserve to this status, but today evrything in "computer graphics" chamber. I seen ony couple of times digital art accepted by art word, and always it was with artist who was famous in traditional medium (like Zdzislaw Beksinski http://www.beksinski.pl/). And If it would be healthy? Today "digital art" is free because nobody care about higer aspiratons, most important is craft, and there is big democracy in comunity.

Great question. Yes, I believe it's only a matter of time. There are a few 3d artists out there already that are breaking new ground. I do think it will be healthy for 3d art to become popular. The more artists doing it, the more competition there is, and the work and medium benifit. I've had a few decent break out moments lately myself, I was just named in the magazine One2One Living as a top ten artist under 40...:)
http://www.3dartspace.com/web/ONE2ONE.jpg
Beksinski is another one of my favorite artists...and Phillip Straub, Steven Stahlberg....etc.

the best

1-what is the best way to be very good modeler ?

Practice like your life depends on it.

2-I`am not a good drawer ,Do you know a good way to learn 2d drawing/sketching ?

For sure! Check out Rebbeca Kimmels Open Figure Drawing Workshop on this very site! <linkee (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=2656749#post2656749)>

meats
09-23-2005, 05:35 PM
andy_maxman

when i first saw your FOA animation.....

I am so stoked that people remember that anim! It's a blast from the past. Thanks for your comments, Andy! I had the greatest time making that one. I made it as I went pretty much. It even kind of makes sense! ;)

ilusiondigital

How many time are you working in the cinema industry?

I just did one really long stint at the Orphange. I will be back for sure!

And your purposes for this year (professional only heheh)

My goals this year are to do more print and gallery work, as well as begin to create my creature and model library in real life by printing them out so they can see the real world. Gnomon has some cool things coming out as well that I am excited about, but can't talk about yet (lest it would make it not happen).

Thanks, you are the best (and a very good dude)

Thanks, Illusion! Your not so bad yourself...loving your Zbrush work..


soulburn3d (the famous Neil Blevins!)

Is that like a normal work day, 8-10 hrs, or is that like evenings?

Hey Neil, thanks for stopping in. Well, it really depends. When I'm really into a piece, I would like nothing more than to be able to shut off the world around me and just work until I can't anymore. As a married man with a lesbian bassett hound at home, that isn't always possible. I would say that on average, it would mean a normal workday, just so I can enjoy the life as well. Without the other things in my life, the ideas seem to dry up. I feel like you have to live to create. That's why I have tried bridge bungee jumping, parachuting, mountain biking, lane splitting in LA traffic on my motorcycle on a daily basis.

> I kind of think of it as a sketch artist that has to schedule time with the "eraser guy" to
> do a fix, and then hope that the guy who turns the page in his sketchbook is around so
> he can do another one when he is done.

That analogy is just awesome BTW!

Thanks! Now that I look at it after typing it, it does make sense, which is unusual for me. ;)

It's funny, when most people think of Neil Blevins, they think of your sweet art or your work on the Pixar movies, etc. - I just think of bbq sauce for some reason!

antone-m
09-23-2005, 05:44 PM
thanks for replying :)

beelow
09-23-2005, 06:30 PM
Thanks, meats much appreciated, nothin' will stop me now, haha!:D

ps
09-23-2005, 07:10 PM
Thank you for answer.

I didn't mean giving orders. I mean something more like deciding about vision, have more freedom in creativity. I know craft is important, and I think I would be not good in giving orders and I want work but I want take part in evrything from concept/vision to final rendering, not olny doing one thing, like "eraser guy" you write about few posts before (reply to chadtheartist), that post give me best answer to my questions.

I've had a few decent break out moments lately myself, I was just named in the magazine One2One Living as a top ten artist under 40
Congratulations :thumbsup:

embodiedform
09-23-2005, 07:42 PM
Hi Meats!

Its great to see you doing a Q&A, I really admire you as an artist willing to forge your own path in 3D and as someone who is so willing to give back to the community and help out. Your Zbrush DVDs are really helpful and I appriciate your teaching style- clear and concise:) I was wondering if your future Gnomon releases will go into some of the new tools such as the displacement exporter and marker master. Of course I am sure you have checked out some of the new ZB2 tools and workflows and I would love if you could share some of your impressions (the topology brush-like modeling and interactive posing/ rigging).

Also, do you have a hi-res version of your Maya 7 image that I could use for my desktop wallpaper?:)

Cheers, Jeff

soulburn3d
09-23-2005, 09:48 PM
Hey Neil, thanks for stopping in. Well, it really depends. When I'm really into a piece, I would like nothing more than to be able to shut off the world around me and just work until I can't anymore. As a married man with a lesbian bassett hound at home, that isn't always possible. I would say that on average, it would mean a normal workday, just so I can enjoy the life as well. Without the other things in my life, the ideas seem to dry up. I feel like you have to live to create. That's why I have tried bridge bungee jumping, parachuting, mountain biking, lane splitting in LA traffic on my motorcycle on a daily basis.

I totally agree. It's very important to have some sort of balance between your life and your art / work. Art should come from life, so if you have no life, how can you have anything to put in your art?

It's funny, when most people think of Neil Blevins, they think of your sweet art or your work on the Pixar movies, etc. - I just think of bbq sauce for some reason!

Haha! I've actually considered doing a little side business bottling and selling that sauce, it seems real popular. I could sell artwork and bbqsauce!

Anyways, glad you're enjoying Gnomon, take care dude.

- Neil

Philipstraub
09-23-2005, 10:57 PM
whats up man!

When are you gonna come and do that demo....don't you wanna come down and enjoy the Florida sun and Hurricanes:)

Glad to see you're doing so well...so much has happened since the ole' GFX posting day huh....keep on rockin ..

Phil

chrisWhite
09-23-2005, 11:52 PM
It's an honor to be talking to you, thanks for doing this!

As an artist that seems to have a hyper-active imagination, have you ever run into mental blocks where you just can't get any of those exciting ideas you mentioned? If so what do you do to overcome artistic block?

Thanks again, I really enjoy a lot of your work! Youíre animations are very haunting.

Sneakybunny
09-24-2005, 02:07 AM
I just want to take few seconds to say your art work is inspiring, thankyou mr meier.

rogfa
09-24-2005, 05:29 AM
Thanks for lending your time Meats. Neville Page is quoted on the Gnomon website saying he's ready to make the transition from clay to ZBrush. My question is, would you comment on Zbrush's growing role in developing concept art? Could models created for concept art purposes be used in previsualation or in final shots?

Thanks!

Roger

ESRB
09-24-2005, 05:27 PM
I'm pretty new to 3d so I've never seen your work before this. I have to say you are one of the most original artists I've seen.

Do you ever find that your mind races with ideas and you struggle to translate them into the program quickly enough? If so, how do you overcome it?

You say you use a slew of tracking programs. What is your favourite one and are there any good free ones other than Icarus? Also, do you have any tips for tracking from bad footage because I can never get it right.

projectk
09-25-2005, 11:22 AM
Howdy Meats!

Just a question: Has using a computer so much affected your eyesight at all?

As probably everyone in this thread has said, like your stuff. :D

meats
09-25-2005, 04:27 PM
ae24

Hi, I want to know how do you compare Maya to Zbrush in the creative process of your models?
I am a traditional illustrator and I've been using maya, but never tried Zbrush and I'm curious to know what you think about it.

Maya and Zbrush are both excellent for the creative process. The differences come in the levels of technicality in creating. Maya has everything that you would need to bring something to life. Modeling tools, lights and rendering for both illustrative or very realistic images, animation, paint effects, etc. . Zbrush on the other hand doesn't give you as much control in other areas, but at the same time, it makes it so you don't have to worry about a lot of the time consuming things other 3d programs have like texture mapping layout, worrying about poly counts, and setting up a render is a snap. I would recommend anyone that likes art or 3d to give it a try. Just remember that it's nothing like Maya really. Bottom line: both progs kick major butt, but for different reasons. I couldn't live without both of them (and photoshop and After Effects and.....)

Darkmatter

I was wondering, what do you think is the best way for a person in Canada to get a job in the US?

Sorry, I wish I could help you with this. I tried to get a hold of a friend that had gone through the process, but couldn't reach him. If someone knows the answer to this question, would you mind private messaging Darkmatter? If I find anything out, I will let you know.

danielkenobi

Thanks Daniel! :)

vvmanoj

Hi Mr Meats,
I am just doing some of your DVDs and the showreels in them are awesome! So are the DVDs
I was curious about your educational background? Do you have an art degree?

Thanks! I'm a bit embarassed to say that I don't have much in-school education. I barely graduated high school. I always knew exactly what I wanted to be and do (well, not exactly, I knew I was to be an artist in this life, just 3d hadn't happened yet) so my brain was focused on art and not school. I was the kid in the back not listening and drawing in his notepad. Luckily I had parents that supported me and even though they about killed me for not doing well in school, they saw how hard I was working toward my goals without school. I'm pretty much 100% self taught - meaning I really put myself through my own home schooling. I created projects that I needed to figure out how to complete and tested myself on a regular basis. I'm sure I worked as hard as my friends that were going through college - the big difference was that to other people I was just doing what I loved and having a great time "playing on the computer". That actually was my biggest hurdle. Girlfriends and what-not always saw my work as self-indulgent. If I was working as hard at McDonalds, I would have gained more respect.

How important do you feel a related education is in the CG field?

I think an education is so very important. Schools are great at not just teaching you, but teaching you HOW TO LEARN. Of course in our field, it just comes down to your demo reel and there is no better way of creating a well rounded quality reel than school.

asparta

you had an idea about one person production, do you still follow that and working on it??
...and what made you think it worth it?

I still do have that goal, I will until I complete it. I realise it won't be the easiest thing in the world for me to do, but I know that I can make it happen.
The reason that I think that it will be worth it is because I really enjoy being able to make my own decisions and to create my vision. In a few years, computing power will easily be strong enough for an single individual to do something like this - rendering film resolution images in the basement (real time rendering :) ).


fabrizzzio

(BTW... I think that most people think that you're german...)

I agree completely. I do have some German in me, I think I'm mostly Swiss although...

jtuulos

1. Do you have experience on Maya's Live plugin or could you recommend some match-moving program to start with?

I do have experience with Maya Live for sure. It's what I started with - it was great because it's manual process really makes you understand what todays auto-trackers are doing. Maya live is cool, but it just plain doesn't compare with the current tracking and matchmoving programs. The best program in my opinion is Boujou - the latest incarnation can track nearly anything very fast. It's amazing - but very expensive. The program I always recommend to people is SynthEyes. Wow, this prog is nearly as good and around $400 us, I think. Compare this to Boujou at $10,000 us. It's nearly as good, I am really amazed. Tracking for the masses. <LINKEE to SynthEyes (http://www.ssontech.com/)>

2. You hinted earlier in the thread that you got a job via internet just by sending pictures to forums and spreading the word about your work. Did you have to actually search for a job or did it just come to you while you were waiting? According to what I've been taught one should never just wait and see if something comes ahead

Yeah, you should always be pro-active and not wait for things to happen. In my case I wasn't creating a piece of art or animation and just waiting, I created it, put it on the internet, and then started on my next project. Every piece that I posted I just considered a little business card that was out there on the web, the worlds phone-book - available around the world 24 hours a day. Granted it was much easier to get noticed five years ago, not as much noise, not as much competition. The main thing I preach now-adays is Google placement. It will be one of the things that get you noticed. I attribute a little bit of my freelancing success to Google. I'm currently "Google Rich" - doing a search for "3d artist" like an art director might - I may be one of the first artists to come up. I'm #13 out of 7 million (2nd actual artist on the list, the rest are large 3d sites like Renderosity). The reason I'm braggin' about this is to let you know that the more active you are around the net, your likelyhood of someone that needs to see your work actually seeing it is much higher.


maxspider3000

1- r u happy until now ? and feeling that u r reach to a good place ?

I am happy. I am smiling all the way to work, and that is through LA traffic. I am in a good place - that doesn't mean that I don't long for more. I haven't even come close to being the artist that I want to be. Everything that I have done so far is just practice.

2- did u c any work 4 any Arabian artist and u like its work ?

I've only really seen a lot of the work that is being done in Dubai. Wow, probably the coolest things happening in the world right now - constructing an entire next generation city - <DubaiLand (http://www.cityofarabia.ae/dubailand.htm)>

3- what do u think about CG in the arab world ... i just wanna read ur opinion ...

It seems to me that the Arab world is really embracing technology and 3d art. I can see it becoming a artistic force in the coming future.

4- what is the film that u hope to work on its team ... or a previoues filmes ?

I came close to working on Star Wars Episode III. That probably is the only film that I wished I worked on - well, Lord of the Rings would have ruled.

5- what is the thing that u miss in CG industury ?

It's definately the whole team experience. Even though you have to work a lot, you gain really close bonds to those that are slaving away around you. Things can be really exciting and funny if you have the right team. There is just a "buzz" with working along with so many talented people. You really get to know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses. A person can learn more in one year on the job that years in school.

Rebeccak
09-25-2005, 04:41 PM
Meats,

I'm curious. :) Has this been asked before? How did you and Alex come to know one another?
Cheers, :)

~Rebecca

meats
09-25-2005, 04:53 PM
Bijarts

Its great to see you doing a Q&A, I really admire you as an artist willing to forge your own path in 3D and as someone who is so willing to give back to the community and help out. Your Zbrush DVDs are really helpful and I appriciate your teaching style- clear and concise:) I was wondering if your future Gnomon releases will go into some of the new tools such as the displacement exporter and marker master. Of course I am sure you have checked out some of the new ZB2 tools and workflows and I would love if you could share some of your impressions (the topology brush-like modeling and interactive posing/ rigging).

Thanks!
Yes, Pixologic and I (Gnomon Workshop) plan to have a DVD out (hopefully) very close to the release date of 2.5. There is the possibility of me flying to San Francisco to meet with Ofer, the lead programmer, to learn all the behind the scenes of the tools to make sure that I can do it justice. I plan on covering all the new features completely.

Unfortunately, NDA's prevent me from saying anything about the Zmapper and the new stuff in the next version < it kicks ass, thats all I will say ;) >


Also, do you have a hi-res version of your Maya 7 image that I could use for my desktop wallpaper?:)

Sure! Here is a 2000 x 1620 version. <High(ish) resolution (http://www.3dartspace.com/web/Maya7SignatureImage_meats.jpg)> You may need to crop it to make it fit your desktop.

meats
09-25-2005, 04:59 PM
Philipstraub

whats up man!

When are you gonna come and do that demo....don't you wanna come down and enjoy the Florida sun and Hurricanes:)

Glad to see you're doing so well...so much has happened since the ole' GFX posting day huh....keep on rockin ..

Phil! Speak of the devil! ;)

Man, I would love to come down to do a demo. I must apologize for being so flaky lately. My life just got a lot less complicated now that I am not teaching this term. It makes me a lot less "locked down". Also, I was always hoping that the new version of Zbrush would have been released. The new stuff is much better for video game makers, much more control over normal maps, etc. Once the new version is out I promise if you will still have me, I will come out. And if there are no hurricanes on the horizon...

You rule, Phil! Keep kicking the butt... :)

meats
09-25-2005, 05:04 PM
N2ChristTheKing

It's an honor to be talking to you, thanks for doing this!

As an artist that seems to have a hyper-active imagination, have you ever run into mental blocks where you just can't get any of those exciting ideas you mentioned? If so what do you do to overcome artistic block?

Thanks again, I really enjoy a lot of your work! Youíre animations are very haunting.

Thanks a lot!

Oh, definately. Sometimes I just plain can't get myself going. Usually it has to do with just working too much. I find that if it is possible for me to take a break (as long as there are no deadlines) it actually will increase my productivity. It only takes a few days away from the computer for me to remember what I love about what I do. Too much of a good thing sometimes, I guess. When I have a bad block, I just step away and the solution or idea will come to me when I least expect it. I find that creativity kind of comes in waves for me and I ride it when I can...

meats
09-25-2005, 05:18 PM
no1gashuffer

Thanks! Very nice of you :)
rogfa

Thanks for lending your time Meats. Neville Page is quoted on the Gnomon website saying he's ready to make the transition from clay to ZBrush.

Oh, yeah! Neville sat in on some of my Zbrush classes. He instantly took to it (of course, he is one talented son-of-a...). It was so cool to see how an artist with traditional sculpting skills could jump in and make the transition so quickly. Actually, the class that he was in was really cool. We also had Kevin Hudson, the lead modeller at Sony Imageworks (another ultra talented and nice dude), and the actor Giovanni Ribisi <Giovanni (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&hs=SMZ&c2coff=1&safe=off&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official_s&q=giovanni+ribisi&spell=1)> (multi-talented artist and actor).
Besides just allowing me to do some sweet name-dropping, it just goes to show how diverse the crowd is that is wanting to jump into creating and sculpting in Zbrush.

My question is, would you comment on Zbrush's growing role in developing concept art? Could models created for concept art purposes be used in previsualation or in final shots?

Zspheres are a dream come true for conceptual artists. It is just so easy to create your basic form and then make large scale changes and your mesh is auto updated.
Models that were created for concept art can very much be used in previs, and just a little bit of clean-up to use them for final shots. Little adjustments like re-mapping UV's and splitting a few problem areas of the created mesh. Soon Zspheres will create perfect meshes right out of the box without any tweaking. Doesn't take much now, but I usually do take it into Maya for the final tweaking. I can just get 95% of the way there in Zbrush in 10% of the time.

meats
09-25-2005, 10:13 PM
ESRB

I'm pretty new to 3d so I've never seen your work before this. I have to say you are one of the most original artists I've seen.
Do you ever find that your mind races with ideas and you struggle to translate them into the program quickly enough?

Thanks! yes, most definately. Lately I struggle less because the programs that I use are getting better and better. I couldn't be more happy with the Maya 7 upgrade, it made my life so easy with the addition of things like the new render layer system and so on. Photoshop is as mature as it's probably going to get and when the new Zbrush comes out (2.5) things should be pretty sweet. Always can get better, although. And will..

If so, how do you overcome it?

If I really force myself to, I think writing a good list and making sure everything is thought of ahead of time. This way I can prepare my path in advance, making it easy to take it step by step. Just jotting my ideas down when I think of them can really help me. I just wish that I could remember to do that in most cases.

You say you use a slew of tracking programs. What is your favourite one and are there any good free ones other than Icarus? Also, do you have any tips for tracking from bad footage because I can never get it right.[/QUOTE]

Favorite: Boujou. The one I will use: Syntheyes <SynthEyes (http://www.ssontech.com/)>

Tracking from bad or low res footage is a tough tough job for sure. The key is to learn to track by hand. That way no shot is impossible because you can fill in the gaps yourself. I just like to track my own footage these days. That way I can make sure that the footage will work...or at least hope that it will.

meats
09-25-2005, 10:15 PM
projectk

Has using a computer so much affected your eyesight at all?

I think so...I didn't wear glasses when I started and I do now...

I think I will get that surgery to fix em up.

Darkmatter
09-25-2005, 11:47 PM
projectk

Has using a computer so much affected your eyesight at all?

I think so...I didn't wear glasses when I started and I do now...

I think I will get that surgery to fix em up.

If your eyes are generally dry be careful. Find out if they are going to have to make your lens more concaved or less. If they make your eyes more curved and your eyes are already dry, you may find that your eyes will end up VERY dry and you'll need eye drops regularly, perhaps for the rest of your life.

This happened to me, although after 2 years I don't find that I need the eyedrops as much as before, but I do still need them. What really sucked for me is that I found out after the surgery that I am allergic to the perservatives in the bottled eye drops so I have to use expensive indivitually rapped eye drops with no perservitives. Not the luckiet thing to happen to me thats for sure... On the bright side the surgery went great, and though my eyes have reverted a BIT and I probably need a touch up. But my eyes were really bad before and far sighted which is harder for them to correct. I think my old perscription was around 4.75. Last thing, make sure you research the various Dr's in the area and try to find independent data on their success rates. Your eyes are rather important after all. :)

Hope all this info helps. I figured you should get some info BACK for all the time you've put into giving all of us info. :)

meats
09-26-2005, 12:03 AM
Rebecca

I'm curious. :) Has this been asked before? How did you and Alex come to know one another?

Great question, it actually will cap off a bit about what I've been saying about getting your work out there. It was no other than Leonard Teo that recommended me to Alex when he heard that he was looking to find resident artists. I met Leo years ago (2001) after posting some images on the web. He did a story on me <InsideCG march 2001 - Creating the Future: Meats Meier (http://www.insidecg.com/feature.php?id=7)> and he's helped me out on a whole bunch of occasions since then. This is a guy from Australia helping out a dude in his basement in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. It was my first introduction to the power of the internet.

It was perfect timing - I was in my first few weeks (ever) teaching in Copenhagen, Denmark when Alex just emailed me out of the blue and told me a bit about the position. Without those two weeks of teaching under my belt at the time, I never would have considered it. I also knew that when I got back to San Francisco, I would come back to no job - so it was perfect.

The Workshop is sweet, we have a little family there, it's a home away from home.
Shout out to: Alex, Eric, Sean, David, the Dean, Edmond, Jilly (Jill Smolen and Lily Feliciano)! Thanks for all the support.... :)

We almost got Kris Costa to join our team, we almost had him if it wasn't for that darned CafeFx snatching him up before we could get our greedy mits on him.. ;)

Rebeccak
09-26-2005, 12:08 AM
Meats,

That's a great story, thanks for that! It's really interesting to hear peoples' histories, without a format like this, people remain mostly unknown to one another. Thanks for all of your thoughts and insights! :)

EDIT:
Another question (and my apologies if someone has already asked): do you consider yourself more of an artistic, or more of a technical person? Have these abilities developed for you in tandem, or somewhat idiosyncratically?

Cheers, :)

~Rebecca

meats
09-26-2005, 12:54 AM
Darkmatter

That is great information, thanks for that! I think I have a stigmatism, I hear they can now correct that surgically.

Rebecca

Do you consider yourself more of an artistic, or more of a technical person? Have these abilities developed for you in tandem, or somewhat idiosyncratically?

I consider myself more artistic than technical. The technical part came about because it was neccasary to know it in order to do my art. The more technical things that I learn about, it seems like it just widens my artistic "power". I do admit to loving the tech parts, like knowing how to build and fix computers, etc. I would love to just be able to concentrate on the fun artistic parts, but I know that I would have to depend on other people too much if I didn't learn as much as I could.
One led to another, pretty much. I can already see the light at the end of the tunnel for 3d artists, where the programs are stabilizing a bit so we can focus a bit more on the creative side. The future is bright for upcoming 3d artists:thumbsup:

--

It looks like my time is up, I'm heading out for the evening and won't be able to answer any more questions. I really want to thank everyone for the warm greetings. I feel three feet taller!

:) :) :)


Thanks again for setting this up, Leigh!

Rebeccak
09-26-2005, 01:00 AM
Meats,

Cool, thanks for the reply! :) Watch that door sill on your way out ;) ~ just kidding. :)

Cheers, :)

~Rebeccak

Darkmatter
09-26-2005, 01:29 AM
Thanks Meats! I'm glad the info helped. And an even bigger thank-you for taking so much time to answer all our questions! It was truely a pleasure. :)

Zeicon
09-26-2005, 01:35 AM
I was in my first few weeks (ever) teaching in Copenhagen, Denmark

Did it happen to be at Truemax? I just started at Truemax, and you're listed as an instructor there (haven't actually seen you in the building yet though). I'm mostly a Maya user, but I'm currently taking the 3DSmax introductionary course to qualify for the actual education (where hopefully I will be lectured by you).

So what exactly do you teach at Truemax? As far as I know, they haven't really incorporated ZBrush into the education yet (I hope that will change soon).

Hope to meet you there too...

Essex
09-26-2005, 04:09 AM
I just wanted to say i'm a big fan of your work, very inspirational. Devil (chrome) has been a personal favorite of mine ever since I first saw it years ago in Danny Riddell's book.

Sneakybunny
09-26-2005, 06:12 AM
hi Mr meier, one more moment of your time, how long a time frame you say one of you images\sculptures would take you do complete? (a few week on and off?)

i dont know about you but work and sleep always get in the road.
cheer jay

lordsol
09-26-2005, 12:27 PM
your work is very cool dude, i know you like a lot to use zbrush, and also i was figure out how those images plugg in your mind?, its crazy but do you feel sometimes that someone out there is telling you how to do it?. some kind of force out there? i dont know something really powerfull telling you and give it to u those crazy and beutiful images?

because i was waching ur stuff and wow dude i fell that something crazy happen to me. i was trying to do something crazy and my god is not anwsering the phone.

meats
09-26-2005, 03:51 PM
It looks like it hasn't been closed yet, so I will answer these extra questions :)

Zeicon

Did it happen to be at Truemax? I just started at Truemax, and you're listed as an instructor there (haven't actually seen you in the building yet though). I'm mostly a Maya user, but I'm currently taking the 3DSmax introductionary course to qualify for the actual education (where hopefully I will be lectured by you).

So what exactly do you teach at Truemax? As far as I know, they haven't really incorporated ZBrush into the education yet (I hope that will change soon).

Hi Zeicon -

I just go to Truemax about once a year (last time it was for two months). I teach Maya when I am there. I gave private lessons to Moayad on Zbrush last time, and he was really stoked on it and took to it right away, so I'm sure he will incorporate it at some point.
Hope to see you around as well!

meats
09-26-2005, 03:55 PM
Essex
I just wanted to say i'm a big fan of your work, very inspirational. Devil (chrome) has been a personal favorite of mine ever since I first saw it years ago in Danny Riddell's book.

Thanks! Danny's book is a great one....I was stoked he included my work.

no1gashuffer

hi Mr meier, one more moment of your time, how long a time frame you say one of you images\sculptures would take you do complete? (a few week on and off?)

i dont know about you but work and sleep always get in the road.
cheer jay

Yeah, it really depends. Some really fast, and some at least a month (not full time, other things get in the way of course). I like to think that I am fairly efficient when building things. I can create a model very fast if I have reference, slower if I'm building and creating at the same time.
Yes, sleeping and eating are the two main things that make me mad that I have to do when I've got an idea that I want to finish :twisted:

meats
09-26-2005, 04:01 PM
lordsol

your work is very cool dude, i know you like a lot to use zbrush, and also i was figure out how those images plugg in your mind?, its crazy but do you feel sometimes that someone out there is telling you how to do it?. some kind of force out there? i dont know something really powerfull telling you and give it to u those crazy and beutiful images?

Thanks man. Ha, ha! Mostly I just hear voices of people telling me not to do things (stop working already for the love of Pete!!).
I found that not listening to a lot of the voices in your head is the key to good, creative, art. Don't second guess yourself. Having the strength to just do what you feel like making without worrying what other people will think of it will let you flow creativly.

because i was waching ur stuff and wow dude i fell that something crazy happen to me. i was trying to do something crazy and my god is not anwsering the phone.

LOL!

SuperHero
09-26-2005, 05:14 PM
Hi there Mr.Meier
i wonder what are the next digital production of the gnomon workshop?
thanks

maxspider3000
09-26-2005, 06:48 PM
thanx meats 4 ur reply ...

* what is your advises 4 all who wanna learn 3d ... nd become a gr8 artist 1 day ?

* what is the way to work on the huge studioes .. like Pixar - Dreamworks - Disney ... etc

* why we didnt hear about any syudio that works with 3D Max ?? nd i work on it now .. do u think that i must turn to another programe ?

* would u like to visit Egypt ? ... i'll b so glade to meet u when u come here ... :)

thanx again meats .. :)

meats
09-26-2005, 07:33 PM
SuperHero

Hi there Mr.Meier
i wonder what are the next digital production of the gnomon workshop?

Upcoming is: 4 disk set on MEL programming by Kevin Mannens, Digital Set Design Development by Mark Lefitz, GI w/ Vray Vol 2: Interiors by Chris Nichols. Release dates TBD on all. Lots of titles entering into production also, from matte painting camera projection to a series on tracking and roto..as well as my Illustration with Zbrush title. :)

ThePumpkinKing
09-26-2005, 08:30 PM
Okay, since this thread isn't yet closed, I'll ask another question.

Why was Hellboy your favorite? What did you do on it? Are you a Hellboy or Lovecraftian fan?

Oh, by the way, we didn't win. My friend Sam nulman put up three other posters, one about our opponents practicing cannibalism, and two other weird ones. Needless to say, he got us thrown out of the race. He's also not allowed on the computers anymore.

Well, anyway, best of luck to you in the future.

criminal
09-26-2005, 08:41 PM
hi meats!!!
i am a big fan of your art work. i have just one question for you! ive read somewhere that u worked one some movie (i guess it was Hell Boy or some other)any ways it said that you worked on it with maya fluids n stuff. now as you mentioned before that you are 100% selftaught. i mean i just dont get it!! how did you learn all this stuff, maya fluids and particals are qiuet hard to understand all by yourself. its just amazing that u learnt all this by your self. Is there any advice you would like give to us newbies who learn this stuff quickly!. i hope you understand my question/

leigh
09-27-2005, 01:32 AM
Sorry guys! This Q&A session is now over :sad:

Thanks a million to Meats for his participation!!