Welcome to Issue 10
The term of “Steampunk” was born from science fiction novels. It was first mentioned by author Kevin Jeter as a way of distinguishing him and other sci-fi writers from “cyberpunks” such as William Gibson. Steampunk is not just a visual style, it’s a philosophy. It’s the challenge of mixing old and new: blending the usability of our modern technology with designs and ideas from the Victorian age.
The industrial age of steam inspired new and future thinking as rapid progress was made. Arguably H.G. Wells and Jules Verne from the 1800s provided many ideas, machinery and settings for the steampunk artwork we see today.
The alternative timeline where steam technology provides retro advancements such as airships and mechanical computers continues to fascinate many. Take something modern that is sleek and small (your computer) then transform it into something bulkier, using only common materials from the Victorian era and you have an artistic and design challenge that could occupy you for months!
Get sci-fi artwork, inspiration and in-depth interviews with digital artists for free each month
Subscribe now and receive the PDF FREE every month
In this issue:-
We talk with two of the leaders of this famous 3D art community, about the people, the store and more. Art by 1971s.
STORE | COMMUNITY
“To just have those communities there … no matter what niche you have … you’ll find somebody aligned with that niche that can collaborate with you and provide support…”
Suzi makes superb steampunk renders with Poser and Photoshop, and also produces her own 3D clothes.
POSER | PHOTOSHOP
“I will always be a Poser Girl! [ but ] my absolute favourite part of creating images is ‘making magic happen’ in Photoshop! It’s a crucial part of my workflow and an essential tool in my toolbox…”
BRADLEY W. SCHENCK
Digital Art LIVE talks soaring rocket-cars, retro sci-fi visions, optimism, Retropolis and steampunk – well actually “uchronia”, with 3DS Max master Bradley W. Schenck
3DS MAX | 3DS MAX PLUGINS
“The work that I do is another kind of ‘used future’, or uchronia. My sources and my inspirations all come from the 1920s and the 1930s. “
One of the UK’s finest collage artists chats about his sci-fi influences, nostalgia, and his unique personal symbolism.
COLLAGE | FOUND ART
“I have found a huge warehouse of charity-shop reject books from all over the UK. They let me rummage in their skips. There is a beauty to using material that has been given the thumbs-down by everybody else.”
Digital Art LIVE picks a choice selection of steampunk digital artists.
Sample Interview from Issue 10
SUZI AMBERSON | POSER/PHOTOSHOP
DAL: Suzi, welcome to Digital Art Live magazine. As this is our steampunk special issue, could you start, please, by telling us a little about how you first came to be interested in steampunk?
SA: Hi there. Well, I’ve always been fascinated by clocks and their inner workings. So when I started seeing the word “steampunk” I was curious, and I had to investigate further. I love the clothing from the Victorian era, and when I started seeing it mixed together with clocks and gears and brass fittings, I knew this was for me.
DAL: And you certainly realise the steampunk idea very well in your art, which is made under the ‘Kachinadoll’ name. You have an excellent grasp of shadow and lighting. Does that ability arise from the learning of the craft of 3D that you did with Bryce, do you think? Or does it come from elsewhere?
SA: Thank you! I think my eye for light and shadow stems from my Associate’s Degree in Photograpy from Southern Illinois University. My training there was pretty intense, and it was drilled into me. So when I began creating images in Poser and Bryce, it was just a matter of applying what I had learned to the 3D environment. Lots and lots of trial and error was required, to finally bring my characters to life.
DAL: It certainly brings out the character in your renders. Tell us about your characters and character-creation, since your art often seems to have a story behind it. The process of building and portraying a character…
SA: I am a people watcher. I enjoy looking at people, their expressions, the shape of their faces and bodies, their movements as well as their eye and skin colours and how the light and shadow express them. Thus it’s pretty easy to create a 3D character using my mind’s eye. I think my ideas for characters mostly come to me at night. I keep a note pad and paper in my night stand and write down notes for characters as soon as I wake up so I don’t forget. Ha! ha! I also love old black-and-white movies. When there is no colour or FX to distract you, the focus is on the character and dialogue. If anything, my love for the old classic movies plays a big part in where my characters come from.