Welcome to Issue 22!
In this issue we consider the importance of lighting to establish and convey character in your 3D portraiture. We talk with a variety of artists and content developers, all of whom also make science-fiction, fantasy and/or steampunk art. Joe Pingleton delights in making fast daily renders, and needs to quickly set up his lighting for speed but he also demands top-notch realism. Davide Bianchini slowly and painstaking crafts his high-quality lighting-based content for DAZ Studio — such as the well-known BOSS Lights, the Epic Sykdomes, and his GodRays. Lee is rapidly emerging as a fine portraitist in DAZ Studio, with a beautifully restrained and coherent use of colour and consistently high-quality lighting. We hope you’ll learn a lot from reading their in- depth interviews and seeing their art.
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Joe is a prolific producer of 3D pictures with DAZ and Carrara, and is well known for his animal renders and large scenes.
DAZ STUDIO | CARARRA
“The eyes are the key to adding character in an animal. They have to feel alive. Even a slight squint can change the mood. In animals, I find that the brows also help to convey
Davide is the creator of the BOSS lighting system for DAZ Studio, and a leading DAZ Store content developer.
DAZ STUDIO | PS
“… portraits are the most fun but challenging kind of art. As any classically-trained artist will tell you, painting the human is the epitome of art. You are not truly a good artist until you have mastered the human figure.”
Lee is a Canadan user of DAZ Studio, who is fast gaining a reputation as an excellent imaginative portraitist.
DAZ STUDIO | PS
“… a brilliant concept and composition can be ruined by poor lighting. I usually spend quite a bit of time fussing over the lighting of a scene. Sometimes over 90% of the time is just trying to tweak the lighting.”
PUBLIC DOMAIN CHARACTERS
Part of our interview with Joe Pingleton
DAL: How did you first ‘get into’ being creative, and expressing yourself visually? Did anyone help you along the way, with that? Or was it a struggle?
JP: I had wanted to be a cartoonist since I was very young and I always had pencil and paper in my hand. My mother’s hobby was oil and watercolor painting, so she encouraged my interests in all types of art. My father ran his own direct mail advertising business and encouraged me to look into commercial art as a career. There have been so many people who helped me along the way — from my teacher, my co-workers, to clients — that it’s hard to name them all. I’ve been very lucky.
DAL: That sounds like a great set of backers. How did you then first get into 3D art? Was it the usual route, encountering a copy of Bryce in the 1990s?
JP: It was Poser, actually. I stumbled into 3D art with Poser version 1 in 1995.
DAL: Wow, version 1. That was raw stuff.
JP: At first it was just for reference to hand drawing human figures. I soon discovered that it produced results I could never achieve by hand. Then, yes, I found Bryce 2.0 in 1996 and it rocked my world. The unique interface redefined how I looked at user interfaces. Then the amazing landscapes it created made me fall in love with how nature actually creates things.
DAL: Yes, those Kai Krause interfaces still have a great deal of appeal. I can’t remember if he also worked on the early Poser or not, but there’s an obvious crossover from his Bryce UI.
JP: The other milestone was the discovery of Ray Dream Designer (later to become Infini-D and finally DAZ Carrara). This introduced me to creative power of 3D. All three programs were at a price point which allowed hobbyists to dip their toes in 3D without having to buy the very expensive options at the time. It really revolutionized the industry by bringing 3D to the masses.
DAL: Yes, the big beasts of 3D were — and still are in many cases — thousands of dollars. And often had hardware locks, where you had to have a special big of hardware or it wouldn’t run. Were there any initial barriers as you started out with the learning curve in digital art? How did you overcome these difficulties? And what were some of the “breakthrough” images that started to get you a lot more attention?
JP: When I went to college for a Graphic Design course, desktop publishing was just beginning. Most commercial art was still created using exacto-knives and Rubylith. The instructors were learning the software right along with the students. It was a great time to start because we all learned together and the excitement for the possibilities where infectious. This kickstarted a lifelong love of learning new things and sharing knowledge with friends.
I found that I had a knack for digital photo- editing and this allowed me to get a job with a service bureau which supported many large advertising companies. The day-to-day production of digital artwork taught me more than I ever learned in school. I worked in all aspects of digital graphic design from print to presentation to ultimately Web development. That was when I found 3D. It was the huge trend at the time. Poser, Bryce and Ray Dream Designer allowed us to do things that we could only dream of producing before. I also discovered Macromedia Director at this time.