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PaulHellard
04-12-2011, 10:40 PM
Hey there,

Paul Gerrard came from a traditional background, but passionately picked up the tablet to generate more work and power for his career. His big break was the recently released Battle LA alien-infested Sony blockbuster. NOw is your chance to ask any questions you might have about the concepts for this film, and talk to one of the key artists involved.

Click the image to read his story.....

http://features.cgsociety.org/stories/2011_04/battle_la_concepts/page_02_img_07.jpg (http://features.cgsociety.org/story_custom.php?story_id=6182)

Rebeccak
04-12-2011, 11:12 PM
Awesome, I love his work! Thank you for the article.

Just re-read and realized it was a Meet The Artist - cool!

Paul (Gerrard) -

Who are your major influences in the following categories?

-Illustration
-Fine Art
-Concept Art
-Film

Also, how did you get started painting mechanical things, and how did you go about practicing / learning?

Thanks!

-Rebecca

dapride
04-13-2011, 07:35 AM
I like your designs for the movie and it's good to have these stills of the artwork to see.
The movie, however, with it's over the top use of "shakey cam" was unwatchable for me.

karthikarctic
04-13-2011, 08:03 AM
i dare say, although i am not an artist at all...that your chosen designs for the movie were not effetive. I am sure it was the directors or producers fault. The Aliens looked limp and uninteresting, and general alien,...don't even know what you are talking about. They all looked like skinned goats to me. Sorry, to say. I love your art. it is just the choices made in the movie that i have grievences about.


I hope i have not hurt anybody for that is never my intention.

Sallow
04-13-2011, 08:08 AM
Awesome, I love his work! Thank you for the article.

Just re-read and realized it was a Meet The Artist - cool!

Paul (Gerrard) -

Who are your major influences in the following categories?

-Illustration
-Fine Art
-Concept Art
-Film

Also, how did you get started painting mechanical things, and how did you go about practicing / learning?

Thanks!

-Rebecca

The line between fine art and illustration is pretty difficult one to determine. So I知 going to answer this by stating which artist I admire from viewing in a gallery and which I admire from viewing there commissioned publications.

Illustration/book covers. I love the fantasy art of Melvyn Grant. Oliver Frey and Bob Eggleton.

Fine Art/ Gallery. Zdzisław Beksiński, followed closely by Francis Bacon and Gustave Dore .

Concept Artist . I知 not a huge fan of allot of modern day concept art so Im going back to the classics on this one. Syd Mead.

Film. David Cronenberg and Clive Barker where probably responsibly for my early personality imprinting.

Also, how did you get started painting mechanical things, and how did you go about practicing / learning?


The first digital piece I ever did in the early 90痴 was a machine / flesh hybrid landscape. At the time no doubt inspired by HR Giger. I simply put in the hours, I live to create art , if I知 not physically working on something my head is thinking about it, the next piece and the one after that . Self taught artist.

Sallow
04-13-2011, 08:15 AM
i dare say, although i am not an artist at all...that your chosen designs for the movie were not effetive. I am sure it was the directors or producers fault. The Aliens looked limp and uninteresting, and general alien,...don't even know what you are talking about. They all looked like skinned goats to me. Sorry, to say. I love your art. it is just the choices made in the movie that i have grievences about.


I hope i have not hurt anybody for that is never my intention.

The General alien was the alien without human like legs. Seen in a horizon shot and briefly at the end. We went for something that was very different and thats always going to divide opinions. I think if it was another big toothed , muscular design like many other alien films it would not of been as memorable, personally speaking. No you have not hurt anybodies feeling,not at all, thank you for sharing.

Vlahdimir
04-13-2011, 09:28 AM
Are you working on another book?

Pyke
04-13-2011, 12:04 PM
I'm really interested in knowing what came first...the aliens organic design, or the mechanical designs. Or were they all designed together?

When designing the alien, what sort of brief were you given? Was it just a design free for all, or were the designs specifically needed to be 'bipedal, soldiers.'

The 80's techno design aesthetic really is right up my alley!

I must say that I wish the 'underwater' pallet of your personal work came through more in Battle LA (the amazing greens and blues)-but I can understand the reasons for them going with a more muted tone.

Sallow
04-13-2011, 03:00 PM
I'm really interested in knowing what came first...the aliens organic design, or the mechanical designs. Or were they all designed together?

When designing the alien, what sort of brief were you given? Was it just a design free for all, or were the designs specifically needed to be 'bipedal, soldiers.'

The 80's techno design aesthetic really is right up my alley!

I must say that I wish the 'underwater' pallet of your personal work came through more in Battle LA (the amazing greens and blues)-but I can understand the reasons for them going with a more muted tone.

Before I went anywhere near the biomech elements it was the silluette that I had get nailed down. My first design swhere purely organic except a loose gun design. So the shape had to be eeirie, a throw back shape to the familier alien roud head in mainstream culture, the grey. Along the way when asked to a gun or a machine I worked in more and more biomech features, these things are built purely for function so I pushed in the art , the notion of fusion of machine and flesh. Im not sure it completely comes across that way in the film, but thats the way I saw it when creating the art.

The brief at the very start was , as above, creep silluette, more of a horror design. Imagine one of these slowly coming out of a dark foggy, back alley about 12 foot tall. That was the initial direction.

As thing moved foward it was a pretty much a design free for all, exploring every avenues we could to get a very unique look to all of the elements of the design. You can imagine, my first major movie gig and the Director saying, do what you want, just go for it. An artists dream.

You know there an 80's games exhibition where I live, it has on display not only all the games but all the cover art from that era. Just fantastic works of art.

I think they tried to get that colour working in the film, but against the dusty debri filled landscape I guess it just didnt come across as well.

Thanks allot for the Q's, best

Paul

Rebeccak
04-13-2011, 03:50 PM
The line between fine art and illustration is pretty difficult one to determine. So I知 going to answer this by stating which artist I admire from viewing in a gallery and which I admire from viewing there commissioned publications.

Illustration/book covers. I love the fantasy art of Melvyn Grant. Oliver Frey and Bob Eggleton.

Fine Art/ Gallery. Zdzisław Beksiński, followed closely by Francis Bacon and Gustave Dore .

Concept Artist . I知 not a huge fan of allot of modern day concept art so Im going back to the classics on this one. Syd Mead.

Film. David Cronenberg and Clive Barker where probably responsibly for my early personality imprinting.

Also, how did you get started painting mechanical things, and how did you go about practicing / learning?


The first digital piece I ever did in the early 90痴 was a machine / flesh hybrid landscape. At the time no doubt inspired by HR Giger. I simply put in the hours, I live to create art , if I知 not physically working on something my head is thinking about it, the next piece and the one after that . Self taught artist.Thank you for your reply!

Best,

-Rebecca

Pyke
04-13-2011, 03:51 PM
Thanks so much for the reply. The 80's design really does need more love! The Grey really is an alien design that I wish would get some hi-tech treatment. Seems they are being relegated to TV shows and stiff animatronic puppets.

What major things differed in working on this as a major feature to some of your other work? Were you working 'on site', or was it mainly through email, teleconferencing. I know from my point of view, I really prefer to talk through artwork with clients face to face...with lots of hand movements and acting. :D

Sallow
04-13-2011, 05:25 PM
Are you working on another book?

Hi Vlahdimir
Absolutely, I plan to do a book containing 75 images of Dead links. This is a long term project for me, getting the time to create 75 images will be tough but something I will not give up on . The book is about a belief that most people are connected to this world via links, we feed from these entities linked to us, the other forms of ourselves in alternate states. Unfortunately some are not. They are dead links and there form on the other side is a visual representation of who they are in our state of existence, with broken links. These are degenerates that have broken links to this 'other' world. So are not able to obtain creative inspiration, any kind of energy and so on. I am going to illustrate 75 of these dead links, imagine the serial killers, the perverts, the twisted crack addicts, how these would look in another reality. Image the film Seven meets 船ante痴 Inferno. To quote a writer friend of mine its.. 礎lending spiritual thinking with the man machine and the aesthetic of body horror.

Vlahdimir
04-13-2011, 05:40 PM
That sounds fantastic. 75 images? You have your work cut out, then.
I'll be looking forward to it.

Sallow
04-13-2011, 06:51 PM
Thanks so much for the reply. The 80's design really does need more love! The Grey really is an alien design that I wish would get some hi-tech treatment. Seems they are being relegated to TV shows and stiff animatronic puppets.

What major things differed in working on this as a major feature to some of your other work? Were you working 'on site', or was it mainly through email, teleconferencing. I know from my point of view, I really prefer to talk through artwork with clients face to face...with lots of hand movements and acting. :D

The whole process really forced me to craft a concept style from the large illutrations I was doing previously. Before this I very rarely did roughs , I just did these huge gallery size images. I had to scale down , speed up and concetrate purely on a single figure as opposed to a scene.

It was all via email and phone , would have loved it to be face to face, I reckon I missed out on allot of stuff not being there. At the time I was doing another full time job ie the stable 9-5, prob doing 70 hours per week to do both for 6 months, worth it though.

jaymitshah
04-14-2011, 06:00 AM
i dare say, although i am not an artist at all...that your chosen designs for the movie were not effetive. I am sure it was the directors or producers fault. The Aliens looked limp and uninteresting, and general alien,...don't even know what you are talking about. They all looked like skinned goats to me. Sorry, to say. I love your art. it is just the choices made in the movie that i have grievences about.


I hope i have not hurt anybody for that is never my intention.
hey.............u r//

Pyke
04-14-2011, 03:51 PM
Just a note to people checking this thread, the image at the top links to a feature story. I didn't know until I actually linked to it from a different site. ;)

Sentrynox
04-15-2011, 01:04 AM
I wonder if there is a difference between seeing your work on screen after working 6 months, than if you were really involved in creating something that might be closer to truth, that would have taken years of reflexions and research before putting it on screen?

I am asking this, because I am involve in a project that didn't satisfy me until I could come up with something that could really occur! It is why most of my project is based on true events and discoveries, rather than from my imagination. I know that some artists do needs to make a lot of research before creating their concepts, but I am curious at what priority you gave to your research for truth?

From a creative stand point, what is the most important?

ahmad-O
04-17-2011, 08:43 PM
:thumbsup:

Hello ...
Have you labeled the people in your starting art that this method and your ugly at the same time beautiful not scary ugly but I mean of course your start in art and not now?



Because I sometimes exercise this kind of drawing, but describes the people working there is the fear and ugly and beautiful at the same time




Unfortunately, if the words were not clear because I do not speak good English Language

Sentrynox
04-18-2011, 04:27 AM
When I saw that movie, the first thing I told myself was, WOW! Who has created those Aliens? Those are the best I ever saw in my life! I was awestruck!

Then came the GI with their guns killing Aliens...

I mean, how on Earth could some specie able to travel lightyears, harnessing energies beyond our capabilities, being killed by stupid bullets? That was so unrealistic!

Even Star Trek is unrealistic! I mean, for an Alien specie to travel light years, they need to harness the energy of their sun! Being capable of doing so, will mean that they destructive potentials to be equivalent to being capable to explode a Sun or even a solar system!

For me that was, what killed that movie! But the concepts of those Aliens and spaceships were outstandings!

Pyke
04-18-2011, 07:45 AM
When I saw that movie, the first thing I told myself was, WOW! Who has created those Aliens? Those are the best I ever saw in my life! I was awestruck!

Then came the GI with their guns killing Aliens...

I mean, how on Earth could some specie able to travel lightyears, harnessing energies beyond our capabilities, being killed by stupid bullets? That was so unrealistic!

Even Star Trek is unrealistic! I mean, for an Alien specie to travel light years, they need to harness the energy of their sun! Being capable of doing so, will mean that they destructive potentials to be equivalent to being capable to explode a Sun or even a solar system!

For me that was, what killed that movie! But the concepts of those Aliens and spaceships were outstandings!

Not to derail the thread, but you are assuming that an alien race that can travel across the stars has evolved that ability technologically in the same way that humans would.

In fact, our venture to the stars, with the discovery of technology that allowed us to put man on the moon is nothing short of random chance.
If you look at the events leading up to World War II, where most of the technology that put man on the moon was developed during war times, it becomes apparent that if one or two rather minor events never occurred, that World War II would never have happened,(essentially, the butterfly effect) and humans would be 50 - 60 years behind in technology than where we are now.

Its like when its assumed that liquid water is needed for life to evolve, or that a civilization couldn't advance without the wheel.

I'm in no way saying that space travel wouldn't mean that a species is advanced technologically beyond what we as a race could possibly conceive, but to assume that because they are advanced in one way, they would be advanced across the board is presumptuous. Their planet could have some form of naturally occurring renewable energy source that emits massive amounts of power. Perhaps their 'sun' is a stable black hole which allows easy space travel? They are an alien civilization....the normal rules don't apply to them. ;)

To take this back to the concept art, when designing an entire species, do you also design a back story for them?

Sentrynox
04-18-2011, 05:14 PM
Not to derail the thread, but you are assuming that an alien race that can travel across the stars has evolved that ability technologically in the same way that humans would.

In fact, our venture to the stars, with the discovery of technology that allowed us to put man on the moon is nothing short of random chance.
If you look at the events leading up to World War II, where most of the technology that put man on the moon was developed during war times, it becomes apparent that if one or two rather minor events never occurred, that World War II would never have happened,(essentially, the butterfly effect) and humans would be 50 - 60 years behind in technology than where we are now.

Its like when its assumed that liquid water is needed for life to evolve, or that a civilization couldn't advance without the wheel.

I'm in no way saying that space travel wouldn't mean that a species is advanced technologically beyond what we as a race could possibly conceive, but to assume that because they are advanced in one way, they would be advanced across the board is presumptuous. Their planet could have some form of naturally occurring renewable energy source that emits massive amounts of power. Perhaps their 'sun' is a stable black hole which allows easy space travel? They are an alien civilization....the normal rules don't apply to them. ;)

To take this back to the concept art, when designing an entire species, do you also design a back story for them?

While I would have agreed with you a few years ago, I did learn and study enough to find out that basic rules apply to everyone! The concept of war you are talking about might have been timely, but it wouldn't have stiffle our technological breakthrough very much. Only the momemtum behind a war, that drives some ideas can make those ideas stand out from others.
Anyways, when you understand that water is the sole medium for biochemical reactions to occur at complex levels (I don't talk about amino acids here, just normal biomechanical functions), its easy to see that while Aliens organic will look like different than ours (through different chemical substituants), they will rather function like us! Some of them will need to find ways to escape their gravitational pull, while some others might live in water, making this problem easier to solve for them than for us.

But one thing is to remember, in order to spread to the stars, one needs a civilization that has reach an energetic distribution efficiency much more efficient than ours! In other words, they will be economically, much more savvy than what we can see on Earth! Yes they can find pretty nasty energy sources, but who says powerful energy source, also says huge blasts! If not then, it will take very advance technologies to take something very stable (like water) to create energy out of it (Fusion reactor). So, such Aliens, would likely just wipe us out in a way that is much more energetically savvy than using simple bullets... Because, one thing that an Alien living in space, has that we don't is TIME! And one thing they won't have to spare is their life! So if we follow basic economic rules, those Aliens, won't seek to waste their energy blasting us with energy weapons, while they have the means to avoid that!

By the way, to answer your question from a scriptwriter point of view, I did have to write about all the economics of that Alien specie for my project. But in order to do so, I was to learn how our world was working, before even dreaming creating another one... 19 years later, I can say job done!
Because of this, I did create their social fabrics, their teaching systems, their urbanism, describe some technologies that might be millions of years ahead of us, create their religion (that must be adapted to their space faring reality) and their own history... But the most difficult was their political and economic systems! It would have been simpler to create insects instead, but there wouldn't be much fun at all! http://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon7.gif

Its why, I would have loved working with Paul on some concepts of mine! I guess he would have enjoy it too! http://forums.cgsociety.org/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=6949427#

Kait
04-19-2011, 09:30 AM
Its not related to this movie, but i would like to know, Your opinion.
What is most important for the freelancer concept artist ? :) first thought.

and thanks. im going to see the movie asap.

Cheers
Kait

Sallow
04-21-2011, 07:35 AM
I wonder if there is a difference between seeing your work on screen after working 6 months, than if you were really involved in creating something that might be closer to truth, that would have taken years of reflexions and research before putting it on screen?

I am asking this, because I am involve in a project that didn't satisfy me until I could come up with something that could really occur! It is why most of my project is based on true events and discoveries, rather than from my imagination. I know that some artists do needs to make a lot of research before creating their concepts, but I am curious at what priority you gave to your research for truth?

From a creative stand point, what is the most important?

Im not sure, I have been working on something for a very long time. Indeed years of research personal and proffessional is being channeled into the project and I wonder if I will ever want to release it because it has become so personal.

I did put allot of research into BLA but onky on the asthetic after the core designs where firmly planted. Once those core designs where rooted you can kind of relax and have fun. I know what you mean if the project is based on truth it would be much harder to rleax .

Sallow
04-21-2011, 07:38 AM
Its not related to this movie, but i would like to know, Your opinion.
What is most important for the freelancer concept artist ? :) first thought.

and thanks. im going to see the movie asap.

Cheers
Kait

First thought, the subject matter. Im not saying I will always be doing sci-fi or horror but it helps when yout inspired from the get go.

Sallow
04-21-2011, 07:40 AM
:thumbsup:

Hello ...
Have you labeled the people in your starting art that this method and your ugly at the same time beautiful not scary ugly but I mean of course your start in art and not now?



Because I sometimes exercise this kind of drawing, but describes the people working there is the fear and ugly and beautiful at the same time




Unfortunately, if the words were not clear because I do not speak good English Language

There is so much beauty in decay. In machines and twisted bones, I love it. These to me are not horror, of even scary. Not to me, designed for others but I love this stuff.

stooch
04-21-2011, 04:31 PM
lol I went to see the movie because of the fluid effects explosions. Im not sure why the missiles were exploding pointlessly but they looked cool :shrug:

The story sucked, it was like a really weird mix of blair witch project, saving private ryan and independence day - all abruptly ended with no resolution. As if the director expected the viewers to be eagerly panting for more gripping details of personal sacrifice in Battle of LA 2 - Judgement Day.

In the few shots where we actually did see the aliens. They may have looked unique (kind of far to really tell), but they acted exactly like mo-capped humans. :hmm:

congratulations on the spotlight :beer:

Sentrynox
04-21-2011, 10:43 PM
Im not sure, I have been working on something for a very long time. Indeed years of research personal and proffessional is being channeled into the project and I wonder if I will ever want to release it because it has become so personal.

I did put allot of research into BLA but onky on the asthetic after the core designs where firmly planted. Once those core designs where rooted you can kind of relax and have fun. I know what you mean if the project is based on truth it would be much harder to rleax .

I understand that a project may become way to personal to release it... In my case I was fortunate enough to work on a project that did only become personal, on a mission level... In other words, my project becomes so meaningful to me and everyone else, that I couldn't do otherwise than finding a way to share it!

Aesthetics is indeed very important in designs, but less than the symbolisms and the myths (history) behind geometries! Impacts on the human psyche is so important, that designs must not escape it!

How do you put in use symbolisms in your designs? I guess its hard to always figure out, which symbols is important in a particular scene. Or you might prefer express your own story using symbolisms, so to print your influences upon the minds?

ahmad-O
04-22-2011, 04:47 PM
There is so much beauty in decay. In machines and twisted bones, I love it. These to me are not horror, of even scary. Not to me, designed for others but I love this stuff.

Yes, Your words are beautiful and clear
But like what you said earlier in the English language is not a good one so I can not convey the information well
Thank you,

ahmad-O
05-08-2011, 07:46 PM
:)
Unfortunately for the inconvenience
I wanted to ask
Are some of the visionaries who Ilhmonak some of their work they are interested in Ba:
Brutal architecture Corbusier :lightbulb
(http://www.google.com/search?hl=ar&safe=active&rls=com.microsoft%3Aen-US&biw=1339&bih=574&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=Corbusier&btnG=%D8%A8%D8%AD%D8%AB&oq=Corbusier&aq=f&aqi=g1&aql=&gs_sm=s&gs_upl=34668l34668l0l1l1l0l0l0l0l727l727l6-1)And engine
ering drawing
?
I note you care what the reason many sculpture
(Sculpture)
.!?

Kait
05-08-2011, 11:50 PM
lol I went to see the movie because of the fluid effects explosions. Im not sure why the missiles were exploding pointlessly but they looked cool

they were slowing down, before the impact*

LightSovereign
05-10-2011, 05:53 AM
Hi, and thank you for partaking in the ARTIST q&a. In your professional career, have you ever dealt with artistic block, and how do you work your way around such things. Im my case, sometimes its the initial concept stage that I realize I feel I have hit a concrete wall, despite me gathering inspiration. I imagine your line of work requires great discipline as with anything at film level.

Thanks for your time

Marley

Sallow
05-10-2011, 12:23 PM
Hi, and thank you for partaking in the ARTIST q&a. In your professional career, have you ever dealt with artistic block, and how do you work your way around such things. Im my case, sometimes its the initial concept stage that I realize I feel I have hit a concrete wall, despite me gathering inspiration. I imagine your line of work requires great discipline as with anything at film level.

Thanks for your time

Marley

Hi Marley, I learnt a long time ago that when it come to my personnal work. It comes when it comes, if I dont feel like doing an image I dont force it( ( otherwise it generally goes pear shaped) . I can go weeks without creating final art, months even. Concept art is very different, as is movie work. I dont have that massive emotional connection with the art, Im not trying to sort out inner conflicts or anything as overly compex. So I just have fun doing it. I have never come across a creative block in that field( yet ), as there is always so much to draw influence and inspiration from, you have film Directors pushing there vision, production director and so on.

A good tip, completely immerse yourself in your subject matter. The images around you, the music you play, the films you watch. I remember creating the HUD for a game I worked on years back, I made everything a tone of blue. Later I realised my desktop wallpaper was predominantly blue. Sounds crazy but the subconscious mind is a fickle little thing.

pmdunnam
05-10-2011, 10:07 PM
I must say congrats on working on Battle LA. I loved the film. Your work is stunning. Coming from a game background myself. I hope to eventually move over to the film industry. Once again fantastic work.

nickv1212
05-11-2011, 05:32 AM
Hello Mr. Gerrard. I am a high school student studying jobs pertaining to art. I was wondering what your thoughts about being an artist are, any pros and cons, or any advice would be fine.

Thank you.

Nicholous Her

LightSovereign
05-11-2011, 08:29 AM
Hi Marley, I learnt a long time ago that when it come to my personnal work. It comes when it comes, if I dont feel like doing an image I dont force it( ( otherwise it generally goes pear shaped) . I can go weeks without creating final art, months even. Concept art is very different, as is movie work. I dont have that massive emotional connection with the art, Im not trying to sort out inner conflicts or anything as overly compex. So I just have fun doing it. I have never come across a creative block in that field( yet ), as there is always so much to draw influence and inspiration from, you have film Directors pushing there vision, production director and so on.

A good tip, completely immerse yourself in your subject matter. The images around you, the music you play, the films you watch. I remember creating the HUD for a game I worked on years back, I made everything a tone of blue. Later I realised my desktop wallpaper was predominantly blue. Sounds crazy but the subconscious mind is a fickle little thing.

That is a thoroughly good response actually, thank you very much.

DM613
06-04-2011, 06:17 AM
I have to admit it's quite annoying when 3 of those are in your face. Kinda hard to aim when your screen is full of blinking red dots. And in a dark map like that, you're a pretty easy target for snipers when your head is covered with those

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