Meet the Artist: Meats Meier

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  09 September 2005
Absolutely outstanding! Stunning! Breath-taking!

- Lukáš Duběda | ADVERTS s.r.o. | duber's blog
  09 September 2005
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

Thanks Vivec and ynvamsi!


- 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 wasn't easy, what a weird thing to do


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> 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).

Meats Meier

Portfolio :
  09 September 2005
Originally Posted by meats: 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
- Lukáš Duběda | ADVERTS s.r.o. | duber's blog
  09 September 2005

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)
  09 September 2005
Originally Posted by meats: Darkmatter

Sorry Greg, I did accidentaly skip over it

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!


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 ) 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.

Last edited by Darkmatter : 09 September 2005 at 12:22 AM. Reason: Forgot to ask about "Ryan" short film
  09 September 2005
Meat's Rules!

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 Deakyne
  09 September 2005
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
Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity, and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind.
  09 September 2005
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! 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.

  09 September 2005

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.
Anyone can learn, not everyone can imagine.
  09 September 2005
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.
  09 September 2005
I would just like to comment,

Your work is apex. Incredible detail.
Portfolio Site | Production Blog | LinkedIn Profile

Gotta live it up.
  09 September 2005
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?


i thought of giving up... but my spirit won't let me...
  09 September 2005
Cool I Need Your Help

hi there Mr.Meier
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
  09 September 2005

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.


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...


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.


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>.
Meats Meier

Portfolio :

Last edited by meats : 09 September 2005 at 06:59 PM.
  09 September 2005
Quote: 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
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.

Last edited by janimatic : 09 September 2005 at 09:32 AM.
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