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Becoming a 3D animator


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How did you get started at 3d?

Actually, I almost never got to do 3D at all. I originally saw myself taking Creative Advertising in College, since I thought that was the field where I could best apply my love for drawing. Back then, 3D animation was not quite as big as it is today. After going through different courses the college offered, I came across a 3D animation course. It ended up becoming a draw between that or Creative Advertising, but I eventually chose the former rather than the latter. To this very day, I still thank my lucky stars that I chose what I chose because I have heard from a few friends in advertising that it is in a slump right now.

What are your main sources of inspiration?

I watch a lot of movies and read a lot of books, so the bulk of my ideas are sparked either by something I read, or something that I saw on the screen. Also, everyday surroundings can be a great source of inspiration for me. If I see something outdoors that piques my interest, I tend to translate it either on paper or through the computer.

What's your favorite genre, theme?

I would have to say science fiction. I grew up with the Star Wars series, so the majority of my work will always reflect on my love for spaceships and weird aliens. Sci-fi is a genre that really gives an artist a chance to let his/her imagination run amok. That is why I love it so much. I also like to do imagery that deals with modern life and issues. I've always wanted to duplicate the many compositions of some of the grittier photographs that can be found in LIFE magazine, or National Geographic. My first attempt in this would be the RUSH HOUR image.

What are your strong points?

Modelling and animation would be my strong points. Modelling, for me, is the ultimate kick when doing 3D. I get the most of my satisfaction through that part of the process. Animation, even though I havent done it in a while, is something that I really devote my time to in order to make sure everything looks right.

Tell us a little about "Rust".

"Rust" is supposed to be a title for this series I had in mind. My original plan was to create little 2 minute animated shorts that took place inside this Rust world. Its your typical post-apocalyptic world where all its inhabitants wear worn leather and look weird...very Mad Max-ish. The main character (the one in the picture) is a loner type who travels the land on his hoverbike. He's basically your archetypal hero who wanders around and gets himself in trouble. I wanted to give the model a very weary appearance. He should at least have the look of someone who has been travelling thousands of miles while fighting evil.

How much time did you spend on it?

I worked on him whenever I came across a break from the job that I was doing at the time. I devoted at least 2-3 hours everyday for one month modelling and texturing him.

What kind of reference material did you use?

I created the Rust character after a year of not modelling anything remotely human in 3D Studio MAX. Because of that, I wanted to make sure that I had enough reference material so that the model would progress fairly well. I ended up buying a lot of books by Burne Hogarth. The one that I really used was "Burne Hogarth's Drawing the Human Head" since the references inside had more of a comic-bookish quality to them. It offers a very extensive look at the head as a structure. I love how the author reduces the head into simple geometric blocks to show the readers just how exactly it would look when each section of the face is broken down. For other references, I also checked out many drawings by Frank Frazetta and Simon Bisley for muscular and defined faces.