- Published: Wednesday, 25 June 2014 22:32
- Written by Jason
I've had a love for drawing and painting for as much of my life as I can remember. During Middle School I found a fascination with dreaming up alien worlds and spacecraft, with science fiction themes to go with them, and it was during this time I started trying to blend science with art. During High School, this desire to create realism and plausibility in my artwork affected my painting technique both positively and negatively. My Art Teacher was always concerned that I was too much a perfectionist and concerned with detail to be a real artist, and I did have a tendency to draw or paint a little more slowly than many other artists. But I could never see a problem with that because any painting I'd enter into a competition would win a blue ribbon. At first I preferred painting on canvas with Acrylic paints, until I discovered Airbrush Painting. And this is when I really began to think it was possible to paint very fantastic worlds that actually looked realistic.
Once High School was over, however, the airbrushing came to an end, and I headed off to college. During this time video games and virtual reality really started to take off, and I started to wonder if it were possible to create a virtual reality galaxy in which you could travel to any point on any world or moon anywhere in that galaxy, anytime you wanted. Like being able to explore the galaxy like a god, without anything stopping you, all in seamless virtual reality. So I started creating world maps and star maps with the goal of eventually creating that galaxy. I thought it would be a daunting task, however, and had no idea where I'd even get access to software I could use for this.
Then one day, I was strolling through the software section of a bookstore and suddenly saw something called Bryce 3D. It looked incredible. It was a piece of software that you could use to create and animate 3D scenery. It was the first piece of 3D software I'd ever laid eyes on, and I was blown away! So I bought it, took it home, and spent the next few years trying to make the best digital art I could muster.
It was during this time that Star Wars Episode 1 came out. The few glimpses I caught of Coruscant (the city planet) just drove me crazy! It was a science fiction world beyond my wildest dreams, and I just HAD to have a poster of that world to hang on my wall! But guess what?! No poster of Coruscant was ever made! In fact, no poster of any world from any modern science fiction film had been made. I was shocked by the fact that the filmmakers had no interest in publishing these gorgeous worlds in print form. So, I decided that's what I needed to do with my artwork - Advance it to Hollywood quality and create posters of incredible worlds for everyone in the world to have, so they could experience the motivation and inspiration I was so hoping to get from movie-based artwork posters.
Upon realizing the limits of Bryce, I moved on to 3D Studio Max, which is the most popular 3D software on the market today; many of the posters on this website were shots created primarily in 3D Studio Max. But even after working with Max for years, I still was not Hollywood-competitive. I simply couldn't figure out why, so my art took so long to develop, and seemed to move from vision to tedium. Then, one day I found something I could not believe - an online Visual Effects School that sold DVD's of lectures by Real Artists in the Film Industry! Without hesitation I bought Dylan Cole's three Matte Painting Training DVD's, and when I watched them my jaw just dropped! He created a Hollywood-quality Matte Painting right in front of me without ever opening a single piece of 3D software. He did it entirely in Photoshop! After that I suddenly started finding more and more Hollywood artists that start their work either on paper or in Photoshop as well.
I then decided making good art was not my only mission in life, but also preventing other young artists from wasting years of their lives fiddling around in 3D software, like I did, when they should FIRST be learning how to digitally paint. 3D software is one of the last tools you should use, not the primary tool. So, on this site I've included articles devoted to the best Art Method, Software & Tools, Art Training, and Art Philosophy for all young artists to use to get on the right path to becoming Hollywood-competitive. And I've also included links to Real Hollywood Artists, so you can see the difference between the work found on regular 3D art galleries and that created by actual Industry Professionals.
The next phase of digital art I moved into was creating science fiction 3D models for artists to use in film, television, video games, and other artwork, in order to help boost sci fi everywhere. I'm currently in the process of doing more of these as well, following what I've learned - conceptualize and draw first, model last.
Most recently I've also started to learn how to create visual effects for film and television. As I do more I'll be showcasing more of this on my site as well.
With the skills I'm developing, thanks to the training I've received, the art I'm creating for all of you keeps getting better and better. So stop by often, to see what's new!