11.#(15) Scott Wells
Could you talk about your time at the Florence Academy? How long you were there and an overview of what you studied?
I was in Florence for around seven months. I majored in figure sculpture, but ironically, I spent very little time actually sculpting the figure. The most influential part of studying abroad, for me, was experiencing the culture and the environment. It was a great time to observe. Immersing yourself in a different culture gives you an even greater understanding of your own culture. It can make your re-think the way you communicate, and understand other people on a very fundamental level. Communication is a large part of my art, and I think the experiences I had in Italy helped me understand those skills and consequently greatly improved my art. It was also amazing to live in a city that was built around a people scale, as apposed to an automobile scale like most cities in the U.S. Again, it just gives you a new understanding. The more you understand about your art, the better it will become.
12.#(16) Chad Hamlet
Being that there is such an amazing way to sculpt with ZBrush, what is your take on putting 3D digital concepts on a demo reel? I know that in the old days Disney, and other studios, wanted to see artists sketches, and life drawings etc… Do you think that the time has come to start adding those types of “sketches” to 3D demo reels?
1- Yes. I think digital concept models can be a great way to round-out your portfolio. I would just make sure to keep a good variety of organized-meshes on your reel as well. Remember, you are applying to be a digital sculptor in a production pipeline, so they will need to see that you understand the needs of that pipeline.
13.#(17) Rick Klein
- How long have you been modeling and what inspired you to start?
- Is there a specific form you enjoy modeling more than others?
- How would you rate the quality of a program like ZBrush against something like Maya which is a full service program?
- What advice could you offer to someone thats just getting started?
- Do you feel the modeling field is extremely competitive?
1- I’ve been sculpting and creating characters since mixing flour, salt, and water, made play-doe. So literally, as long as I can remember.
2- I do enjoy sculpting the human form. I might still enjoy it because I feel like I still have so much more to learn about it.
3- I’d give it about an 82%. ZBrush is great for developing a character and organic forms. Obviously, I don’t think it competes with Maya in other areas. I don’t think its trying to yet.
4- Find out what it is you really want to do. Find someone that’s doing it and find out how they got where they are today. The only other advice I have is to never stop trying. The only way you can ever fail is if you stop trying.
5- I think a lot of people see modeling as the first step in the pipeline and think they can use it to get into a studio, then transfer to a different department. The problem is, I don’t know any lead modelers that want to hire someone that only wants to model until something better comes along. So, yes there is a lot of competition, but no, I really don’t believe there are a lot of great modelers. Not yet.
14.#(18) Colin Sutcliffe
There have been a few posts where people have expressed an opinion that using ZBrush is almost like cheating as they claim it’s easy to get great results and that ZBrush is like a magic wand that can make a bad or average artist great. What’s you’re take on this? Also, will you be creating any more DVD’s for Gnomon?
1- My opinion is that those type of people don’t know what great art is. They use ZBrush to polish tirds. If you’re the type of person that thinks a polished tird is great art then yes, ZBrush is a way of cheating. Its only a tool, no more, no less. The real art comes from the user. I like the fact that ZBrush makes it easy to create fine detail and surface textures, because now that anyone can do it, people will hopefully start to look at the elements of a sculpture that really count. For example the weight, balance, and design.
15.#(19) Michael Phillips
hey Zack, I thought your work was great in sky captain, and remember reading somewhere that you guys used a new modeling tool…kinda like a scanning stylis or something that allowed you to sculpt an a more traditional way. If that’s so, could you give us a little info on what it was like.
1- That was FreeForm. Cool tool but hard to fit into the pipeline, and expensive. You’ll be able to find a link if you Google it. Probably find an article where myself and other artists talk about it more in-depth too.
- after you have built a mesh in zbrush and created another one in
maya, with good topology, you kept subdividing it and using shrinkwrap
to transfer the detail from the high-res z brush model to the new one…
the question is - do you end up with a dense mesh and leave it as it
is or somehow extract the displacement map and apply it to the original
mesh constructed on top of the zbrush one in maya?
- one more question that was given before - if you don’t mind is about the Haptic device and if it’s a good thing to invest - does it really make a difference comparing to a wacom and ZBrush - or it’s good for starting a model and then switching to Zbrush…and does it have a future or it will be soon replaced by other technologies?
1- After you’ve suddivided a mesh in Maya, you can take it back into ZBrush and re-construct the lower levels by hitting the reconstruct subdiv button under the tool\ Geometry tab. Then you use the low rez organized mesh the same way you would use any other low rez mesh in ZBrush. You will still be able to step up and down through the levels of resolution.
2- I don’t think the haptic device ever really took off. It is great to use, but the price point was too great for what it had to offer. Once I got use to using the wacom, and the other functionalities of ZBrush, I really didn’t miss the haptic device that much.
17.#(21) Øystein Sollesnes
So, have you been interested in art all your life? When did you start, and what made you start? And special reason? Oh, and how did you get into CG?
Yep, I might be asking for your whole life story, but just shorten it down as much as you want.
I’ve always been interested in art. Can’t really think of a reason why. Again, I think the real gift is the desire to create art. Its what I prefer to do. I got into CG my third year in undergrad. Our school acquired six Octane workstations with Alias AutoStudio (predecessor to Maya, used mainly for Industrial Design). Because my sculpts have always been about a narrative and characters as apposed to materials and space, digital medias seemed to be the right choice for what I wanted my art to achieve.
18.#(22) Daniel Williams
#1: Mortuary assistant?
On the DVD, I thought I heard you say you spent some time as a mortuary assistant.
Is this correct? If so, did you do it with the intent of increasing your anatomical knowledge?
#2: What other resources would you recommend to sculptors (digital and traditional alike)? Books, DVDs, Artists, etc.
#3: What advice would you give to people learning to sculpt related to approaching their work. I work with some amazing sculptors who have been at it for a while, and they always give me tips and hints on how to approach things that help me get faster and improve the quality of my work. What insight can you provide related to this topic?
#4: Finally, are there any Mel or Z scripts that you use a lot(non-proprietary of course)?
1- No, I did it for the ladies. Actually, I was not a mortuary assistant, I did however study anatomy at Case Western School of Medicine.
2- I think I listed a few books in another answer, but as far as artists go, I like the work of Matthew Barney, and Jeff Koons to name a few. Ian McCaig’s DVD’s are also worth while.
3- Instead of looking at digital art, go to a museum. Always try to improve your perception of what good art is.
4- To be honest, no. Most of the scripts I use are directly related to the pipeline of the specific shows I’m working on.
1.What artist do u admire? Not only in CG but in general. Like painters, writers, musicians, etc.
2.How can i improved my communication skills when i m working in a team? I have found that when i m selling my work to a client or director, most of the time i get a different idea of what they where thinking.
3.In order to be a good character modeler what do u recommend for a beginner? I mostly model cars, tanks, trains and machines in general. I have always been a little afraid of modeling humans. Any suggestions?
4.Can u give away just one of your CG secrets to success?
1- I think I answered this in the post above this one.
2- Every person communicates differently, there are countless books on how to manage and communicate to different personality types. If you want a really tough read, try Science of the Mind by Owen Flanagan.
3-If you enjoy modeling cars, trains, ext., then maybe you shouldn’t model humans. Who says you have too? If you are really passionate about hardedge modeling, then go for it. If you are afraid of modeling humans, then maybe you don’t really want to.
4- How about three. Viagra, Rohipnal, and Baskin Robin’s Mochachino Blasts. Other than that, the only secret I know of is persistence.