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Welcome to the “Gothic” issue of your regular free magazine.
‘Twas a dark and stormy night. The door to a remote castle creaked slowly open and a sonorous voice in the darkness intoned ‘Welcome to the Gothic issue…’”.
The UK’s veteran gothic 3D artist Nicki Webb looks back, and also looks forward to a new career as a professional.
POSER | DAZ STUDIO | PS
“… the scariest thing? I think it’s the cost of the hardware right now. With so many people suddenly working from home today, and the crypto-miners, the price of hardware is horrifyingly high. 3D has never been a cheap endeavour, but I’ve never seen prices like this.”
Julian has taken full advantage of the recent lockdowns to create a vast new series, ‘Impressions of the Waning Void’.
2D | CINEMA 4D | PS
“2020 is officially my most productive year in my entire career, where I produced about 100 artworks for the series in one year. I was producing artworks once every 2 days… at a pace that I didn’t know I was capable of. It was as if I had gained a superpower!”
Inspired by iPads and the Apple Pencil, Robbie took up art again after 30 years. In 18 months he has made a fine portfolio.
IPAD | PROCREATE | PS
“I suddenly remembered I used to draw when I was a teenager. Finally, after a 30-year hiatus, I became obsessed with art. It was about time to begin learning some basics! It has been only a year and a half since I started digital drawing. Creating art is very new to me.”
- RICK MOSHER’s ‘TREE FACES’
- SURVEY: SPOOKY SOFTWARE
- BACK ISSUE INDEX
- BOB MAY
Connect with other Digital Artists in our STUDIO forum
Interview Excerpt : Nicki Webb
The UK‟s veteran gothic 3D artist Nicki Webb looks back, and also looks forward to a new career as a professional.
DAL: Nicki, welcome to Digital Art Live magazine.
NW: Hi, thank you so much for including me in this issue.
DAL: This is the ‘Gothic’ themed issue for Halloween so… let’s start with a scary question. What’s an enjoyable scare, for you?
NW: I’m very into 1980’s & 90’s horror films. Nightmare on Elm Street, Hellraiser, Poltergeist and so on. So I like to light a few candles, grab some snacks and wrap myself up in a blanket and… scare myself silly. I also enjoy reading Graham Masterton, James Herbert and others. And there I also do the same thing. Candles, snacks and blanket.
This is strictly an autumn/winter thing. Can’t scare yourself in broad daylight!
DAL: Interesting, yes, there is definite cyclic and seasonal nature to interest in the macabre. It must be something that has been very deeply rooted, almost in our genes by now, over generations of dank autumns and dark cold winters. Now… you’ve been around the 3D digital art scene for a while now. For instance I see you did promos for the advanced RDNA Terradome environment, back in the day. What’s the scariest change in DAZ/Poser art, and what has been the most welcome change?
NW: Ha ha, you could say that! My first human figures I used for 3D were Vicky (Victoria) and Michael 2.
DAL: Wow, those 2 numbers are scary in themselves, these days… /laughter/
NW: But the scariest? I think it’s the cost of the hardware right now. With so many people suddenly working from home today, and the price of hardware is horrifyingly high. The high prices of graphics cards are also said to be due to the crypto-currency miners. 3D has never been a cheap endeavour, but I’ve never seen prices like this.
DAL: Yes, our previous advice to the impoverished hobbyist in a recent hardware review — get a £250 refurbished HP Z600 and a copy of Scene Optimizer and wait it out for four or five years — now seems rather prescient. But, what about the best thing?
NW: The best thing I think is… twofold. Firstly, the quality of DAZ’s Genesis 8.1 figures is amazing. The recent male characters in particular are seriously good. “Wolfgang”, for example, is phenomenal. I think we’re finally getting to the point where the male characters are equal to, if not better, than the female ones.
DAL: Yes, I’m always on the lookout for quality male characters — that don’t require “HD”.
NW: The second thing is the amount of video tutorials and webinars around now. Whether that’s free videos on YouTube or partly-free / partly-paid-for webinar lessons such as Digital Art Live offers. I don’t learn very well from reading. I’m ‘very visual’ in that respect. So’ for people like me’ this explosion in online training has been a godsend.
DAL: Yes, we live in an amazing time for self-guided and ‘just in time’ learning. I guess another aspect of it is the ‘helper’ software that encapsulates what would have been a week’s worth of learning, into just a few clicks. Just imagine having to do by hand in DAZ what Scene Optimizer does in a few seconds, for instance. So talking of ‘back in the day’… how did you first get into 3D software. Was it straight to DAZ and/or Poser, or did you come in by other software such as Bryce?
NW: Back in the dawn of time, when I first started on the Internet, I joined a Star Wars RPG chatroom on the WBS network. I’m seriously dating myself now! /laughter/
We used to use other people’s art for our character pictures. There were a lot of people using the Image Comics art, for example. We’d edit them quite a bit though. Changing the hair colours, adding lightsabres and text effects for our character’s names. At some point I then picked up a computer magazine that had an offer for buying Poser 4, at a knock down price. I think it was right before the Poser Pro Pack came out.
DAL: Ah yes, there was an add-on pack to upgrade to the then-new Pro.
NW: This seemed perfect. I could stop using other people’s art, which I’d never been comfortable doing, and really make my characters my own.
DAL: Super. How difficult did you find it at first, and what do you wish you had known back then?
NW: Oh, so difficult. I don’t have any background in art or photography and working in a 3D environment was completely alien to me. There weren’t any video tutorials back then, and figuring out Poser involved trawling through a lot of forum posts and much copying and pasting into text documents for later reading. I’d go through phases of putting it away and then picking it up again a couple of weeks later. The early days were very frustrating for me, but I’m so glad that I fought through all of that