3DAD 033 : Anime figures in Poser and Daz Studio - development of STAR by Lady Littlefox

2015-05-03 22:29:48 admin


In this session of the 3D Art Direct podcast, we interview Regina LaGrone also known as Lady Littlefox.

She’s an experienced 3D content developer for Poser and Daz Studio. Her strengths are in character and costume designs including contemporary, fantasy and  cartoon styles. She is skilled in all stages of content development and has modelled in Modo, Lightwave, XSI and ZBrush. She is at present a freelance developer and beta tester for Smith Micro software and has successfully run her own business of Lady LittleFox Studios for at least 16 years.

Anime characters have a strong following, so producing a popular DAZ Studio/Poser character that has created a whole mini market of content to go with the figure is no mean feat! Littlefox goes though the design aspects of her anime character and what inspired her along the way.

In this Session

– The origins of Littlefox Designs, how it started some of the earliest design highlights.

– Beta testing for over 8 years at Smith Micro for Poser and Anime Studio. Have you been able to initiate some good changes or fixes during this time?

– One of your earlier experiences in work was being a 3D Avatar specialist – what did this involve?

– The foundations of STAR.

– Key design objectives for the STAR anime figure.

– How flexible and smooth motion are significant aspects of STAR and how these are accomplished.

– The advantages of facial rigging built into STAR.

– Future content from Littlefox Studios

Download the Podcast

      1. Session 33


STAR figure by Lady Littlefox

Runtime DNA STAR – best selling content for STAR

Littlefox’s Inspiration for STAR

Princess Serenity “Was always a huge inspiration”
Hatsune Miku or Miku Miku “That’s where the vocaloid it started from”
Winx Club and their off shoots are a refining of the style
And most recently Monster High

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3DAD 032 : WorldCreator - Create Professional Terrains with Erosion and Sediments

2015-03-19 23:53:12 admin

This is session 32 of the 3D Art Direct podcast talking with Stefan Kraus on WorldCreator, a professional terrain generator including sophisticated erosion and sediment algorithms.

I would like to introduce Stefan Kraus, owner of Bite the Bytes started in 2007, a company based in Fulda, Germany that offers three tools for digital artists – “Terrain SDK”, “Shader Tool” and “World Creator” – formerly known as GeoControl and it is “World Creator” that we are going to focus on with this interview with Stefan.

World Creator Terrain Generator

In this session we learn:-

– How long has WorldCreator been around – when was it first created and by whom?  What inspired the original author to bring this software to life?

– Some terrain generators can have appear to have a steep looking learning curve with a node based user interface to cope with. Is WorldCreator different and easier to use in this respect?

– WorldCreator uses Isolines to build landscapes. What is an Isoline and what advantages do they have in controlling the form of the landscape?

–  “controlled rivers” and the tools to create various water bodies.

– WorldCreator has the ability to have landscapes eroded or even have “reverse erosion”

– The simulation of sediments in WorldCreator is unique to terrain generators.

– New developments for WorldCreator in the pipeline for this year.

Download this Session

      2. Session32.mp3


BiteTheBytes website

World Creator overview on YouTube

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3DAD 031 : The New Reality 4 - Photo-realistic Rendering in Poser or DAZ Studio

2015-01-20 22:56:16 admin

Reality 4 is available now from Pret-a-3D

In this session of the 3D Art Direct podcast, we interview Paolo Ciccone on the new Reality 4 software giving  photo realistic rendering in Poser or DAZ Studio.

In this session we learn from Paolo:-

  • The history of the LuxRender engine, which Reality 4 uses.
  • What‘s all the fuss about physically based rendering (PBR)  and what are the advantages to the artist?
  • Is PBR still advancing and what might we see next with this?
  • What are some of the changes that have made Reality 4 easier to use for the artist?
  • All about the presets library and some of the goodies inside it.
  • What lies ahead for Pret-a-3D in 2015?

In association with this podcast, we are having a live webinar on a New Features Masterclass for Reality 4 on Saturday 31st of January presented by Paolo. You can Register HERE and you’ll have the chance to win a copy of Reality 4 during the session.


Prêt-à-3D Website

Official Reality Forums at Runtime DNA

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3DAD 030 : New features of Terragen 3.2 - Interview with Oshyan Greene from Planetside Software

2015-01-07 22:52:23 admin

I am very pleased to introduce Oshyan Greene, the business manager of Planetside Software, which produces the highly regarded Terragen 3, a powerful solution for rendering and animating realistic natural environments. In this session we’re going to discuss the features of a new update for Terragen 3.

Terragen 3 Frank Basinski

Image by Frank Basinski

In this session we learn

– Highlights for Planetside and Terragen 3 during 2014

– All about new glass shader.

– Stereo camera handling and support of the Oculus Rift.

(The Rift is an upcoming virtual reality head-mounted display, being developed by Oculus VR)

– A fisheye lens can now be applied in Terragen 3.2, we discuss uses for the fisheye in Terragen.

– More control over cloud shapes can be applied in 3.2 with the “Taper top and base” parameter.

– Notable media productions created by Terragen 3

– Plans for Terragen and Planetside in 2015

Download the Podcast MP3 File

      3. Here


Premium Resources for Terragen 2 and 3 from New World Digital Art. See also the current Theme Challenge with $5500 of prizes!

PixelPlow official online renderfarm for Terragen 3
Elite Dangerous with Oculus Rift article and videos: http://kotaku.com/i-just-spent-two-weeks-being-a-space-commander-1622502556
ESO Asteroid Article with TG image: http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1410/
Plugs n Pixels magazine with article on Ulco’s massive wall image: http://www.plugsandpixels.com/pdf/plugsnpixels24.pdf#page=16 (page 16, near the end)
Kingsman featurette with TG: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-r-0RAM0hrA
Halo: Master Chief Collection trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mui5LuTQReg
Dragon Age Inquisition Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJqxfkgSUog

Posted in: PodcastTagged in: AnimationNatural EnvironmentOshyan GreenePlanetsideStereo CameraTerragen 3Podcast Read more... 2 comments

3DAD 028 : Discussion on Ralph McQuarrie's Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek Illustrations with John Scoleri

2014-06-18 19:59:56 admin

In this session, we are talking again with long time associate and supporter of Ralph McQuarrie and his work, John Scoleri. Find out in Session 25 of the podcast how John became involved in meeting and helping to promote Ralph’s work.

John Scoleri

John Scoleri

Ralph McQuarrie was the concept artist for a number of strong iconic movies aside from Star Wars, including – Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind, raiders of the lost ark, E.T., the 1978 Battlestar Galactica series and Star Trek’s “Planet of the Titans” film which was cancelled at the script stage.  I mention these examples since not everyone is aware of the impact that Ralph had outside of the Star Wars arena and a new book that John Scoleri and Stan Stice hopes to publish called “The Art of Ralph McQuarrie : Archives Art book showcases the best work of Ralph’s career throughout.

John has created a Kickstarter campaign for this unique book, so take a look at the video on Kickstarter.com that will give a preview of the artwork that is likely to be included in the book. Searching for Ralph McQuarrie will get you to that particular campaign.

You can download the podcast

      4. here

In this session we learn:-

– John Scoleri’s Kickstarter campaign video providing a wide range of Ralph’s work that will probably be included in the forthcoming book.

– We discuss a few examples from the wide body of Ralph’s work throughout his career.

– When the first concepts of Battlestar Galactica were first put down on paper.

– How did Ralph McQuarrie first get involved with doing the concept paintings for Ralph McQuarrie and how long did he work for the show.

– What were some of the early designs of the Battlestar Galactica like and how do they differ from the basic shape we know today?

– The concepts of the Cyclon Base Star and Raider ships that Ralph helped develop?

– Ralph’s work on Star Trek. “Planet of the Titans” was a film that was unfortunately cancelled at scripting stage before Star Trek Phase II was considered, including the triangular shaped federation star ship design.

– The “Battlestar Galactica 35th Anniversary Portfolio” icollectable book.

– The gifts up for grabs depending on what is pledged for this Kickstarter campaign

Resources and Links mentioned in this podcast

Dreams and Visions Press

The Art of Ralph McQuarrie: ARCHIVES Art Book Kickstarter campaign


Posted in: PodcastTagged in: Battlestar GalacticaConcept ArtDreams and Visions PressJohn ScoleriRalph McQuarrieStar TrekPodcast Read more... 1 comment

3DAD 027 : Interview with Dax Pandhi from QuadSpinner - Developing Cool Tools for Vue and World Machine

2014-05-21 20:05:32 admin

We are excited to interview Dax Pandhi, founder of QuadSpinner, who talks with us about his life in the real as well as the virtual world, and how he sees the user experience as paramount in creating tools for digital environments.

Helios for Vue

Matt Conway, Matter Painter and Concept Artist for “Game of Thrones, “The Avengers”, and “Avatar” has said:-

“I was unable to make the class in person, but picked up a copy of the DVD, and I also Dax’s book, Realism in VUE. Dax, in my opinion, is the single authority on VUE. He explains in a clear and easy-to-understand manner how to get the most out of VUE, and how to create ultra-realistic scenes with the shortest render times possible.

QuadSpinner has done all the hours of research so you don’t have to. You no longer have to spend hours of your time tinkering with sliders and wondering how it will effect the scene. As a matte painter, I use VUE often to help create my environments – and QuadSpinner has been an invaluable resource in this regard. ”

Download the podcast episode:-

      5. http://traffic.libsyn.com/3dartdirect/Session27.mp3

You can find out more about Dax and his work here:-



Dax Pandhi

In this interview with Dax we learn:-

– How he started using computers as a very young child.

– His experiences working with Microsoft and how usability affects his vision.

– The importance of travel and experiences in different environments.

– His views on how tools can enhance creation of natural environments

– The members of the QuadSpinner team.

– A peek into some of his current and future projects, including an exciting exclusive!


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3DAD 026 : Former editor of CG Society and Ballistic Media; a global view of digital art with Paul Hellard

2014-04-08 22:37:15 admin

We are privileged to interview Paul Hellard, former editor of CG Society and Ballistic Media, who shares with us his stories on his career in working across the media in filming, sound recording, editing, writing and publishing.

Expose Issue 10

Toni Bratincevic, senior Environment Modeler at Blizzard Entertainment is quoted as saying:-

“I have known Paul for more than 5 years and I must say that he was one of the pivotal persons during my career helping me in so many ways to advance forward and land a job in the CG industry. As an editor of CGSociety, he did an amazing job writing very informative and interesting articles and reports on new software, interesting projects and great reports from Siggraph. The series of Expose books wouldn’t be the same without Paul, his ability to keep good connections with artists and inspiring us to send our artwork to be published in these books really helped to push digital arts as a viable and recognized art form.”

Download the podcast episode here:-

You can find out more about Paul and his work

      6. HERE




Paul Hellard, CG Society and Ballistic Media

In this interview with Paul we learn:-

– His experiences as a camera assistant for the Kirk Douglas film “’The Man from Snowy River”

– Going freelance as a cameraman and sound recordist

– Working as a script editor and then picture desk co-ordinator .

– Being the assistant editor of “Design Graphics” placing Paul in “tech heaven” where he wrote and edited feature articles, technology updates, hardware and software reviews.

– How Ballistic Media was founded and Paul’s involvement in launching EXPOSÉ

– The design objectives of the EXPOSÉ series of Digital Art Annuals.

– The experience at CG Society posting feature articles, the news and managing the social media posts.

– Paul’s global view on the “game changers” of digital art over the years.

– Those main individuals who influenced Paul as he worked in various media industries.


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3DAD 025 : The Life of Ralph McQuarrie, Conceptual Artist for Star Wars, with John Scoleri

2014-03-14 21:00:19 admin

This is session 25 of the 3D Art Direct Podcast talking about the life of Ralph McQuarrie, conceptual artist for Star Wars with John Scoleri.

John Scoleri has supported and promoted the artwork of Ralph McQuarrie, the concept artist for Star Wars through many years and more recently with the publication of the book “The Art of Ralph McQuarrie” of which he was co-author and publisher.


He’s also exhibited Ralph’s work at a series of major events around the world called Star Wars Celebrations, clocking up lots of air miles in the process.

You can find out more about John’s mission in promoting and publishing Ralph’s work at the Ralph McQuarrie facebook page here:-


You can see some good sized images of Ralph’s artwork that we discuss with John from his Star Wars blog post.

You can download the podcast

      7. HERE

In this session we discover:-

– The impact of Star Wars on John Scoleri when he first saw it in 1977.
– How John first met and assisted Ralph at a convention and helped promote his work ever since.
– The story of when George Lucas first hires Ralph McQuarrie and how essential Ralph was to visualising and designing the movie with George.
– Some of Ralph’s early briefs or instructions for his concepts.
– What type of paints Ralph used for his work and the advantage of them.
– All about the very first production painting for Star Wars of C-3PO and R2-D2.
– The “Laser Duel” painting and this even influenced set design.
– One of Ralph’s favourite paintings and why.
– Details on “The Pirate Ship in Docking Bay 94”
– Why a Storm Trooper and Han Solo are holding lightsabers in once concept illustration.
– Details about the concept illustrations on the battle at the Death Star.
– Whether Ralph had a preference for character artwork, landscapes or technology.
– John’s story of producing “The Art of Ralph McQuarrie” book with Ralph and Lucasfilm.
– The next book promotion for Ralph’s work.

Posted in: PodcastTagged in: Concept ArtGeorge LucasJohn ScoleriRalph McQuarriestar warsStar Wars ArtPodcast Read more... 1 comment

3DAD 024 : Stories from the Visual Effects Industry - Greg Teegarden Computer Graphics Supervisor at Digital Domain

2014-02-23 14:40:52 admin


Greg Teegarden is a computer graphics supervisor at Digital Domain, a visual effects and digital production company based in Venice, Los Angeles, California.

Greg Teegarden from Digital Domain

He has been in the industry for over 20 years and has worked on productions including SeaQuest 2032, The Fifth Element, Tron : Legacy, X Men: First Class, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and more recently the Oblivion movie starring Tom Cruise.

He has been nominated six times at the Visual Effects Society for his work.

Listen to the interview HERE

We are pleased to interview Greg in this podcast session and learn:-

– How Greg’s father, James Teegarden, who was an art director and set designer for Back to the Future II, Artificial Intelligence and E.T. influenced Greg.
– How Greg got started professionally in visual effects.
– The experience of working as an animator on Seaquest 2032.
– The influence of Industrial Light and Magic.
– Some of Greg’s earliest visual effects tools including Lightwave.
– Greg’s experience on the sci-fi movie Oblivion, which starred Tom Cruise.
– Using Terragen to create a procedural generated Earth for the opening scene in Oblivion with the Universal Studios logo.
– Some of Greg’s highlights at Digital Domain.
– The benefits gained from managing production pipelines at Digital Domain.
– Some of Greg’s work on Tron : Legacy as the lighting supervisor.
– Advice from Greg for those who are looking to get into the visual effects industry.

Resources and Companies Mentioned in this Podcast

Digital Domain : James Cameron’s visual effects company – http://digitaldomain.com/reels
Terragen (version 3) : Planetside Software – http://planetside.co.uk/
LightWave by Newtek – https://www.lightwave3d.com/
Houdini by Side Effects Software – http://www.sidefx.com/

Posted in: PodcastTagged in: Digital DomainGreg TeegardenJurrasic ParkLightwaveOblivionSea QuestTronVisual EffectsPodcast Read more... 0 comments

3DAD Session 23 : Audio Interview with Kim Schneider (Arki) professional Poser Pro Content Creator and Vendor

2014-01-27 23:21:24 admin

KimSchneider-Arki3Kim attended the University of Applied Sciences in Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Design and Illustration.

Over the years Kim has done work in the role-playing game industry applying her illustration skills for RPG games such as Engel for Feder & Schwert,  Redaktion Phantastik, and the Pegasus Spiele game—Call of Cthulhu.

Her journey into 3D Digital Art began in 2000 with Poser (yes fourteen years of Poser experience!), then Poser Pro and started vending Poser content in 2006.

She delves into other packages occasionally including Carrara, Bryce, Terragen and used Hexagon for modelling. She also uses GIMP, Photoshop elements and UV Mapper Pro in her workflow.

Kim Schneider’s content and store can be found at Runtime DNA under the name Arki.— www.runtimedna.com/Arki/

In the podcast interview we discover:-

– How Kim started her passion for artwork with a single illustration of a dragon.

– Her first impressions of Poser and how she overcame early barriers with 3D digital art using this application.

– Her experiences of creative artwork in the role playing game industry.

– How she became a vendor at Runtime DNA.

– Her forthcoming live webinars at 3DArtLive.com in how to create successful Poser content projects as a vendor.


Posted in: PodcastTagged in: ArkiFantasy artKim SchneiderPoser ContentPoser ProRuntime DNAVendorPodcast Read more... 0 comments

3DAD 022 : Interview with Larry Nemecek on the new Star Trek Stellar Cartography Guidebook and Maps

2013-12-05 22:25:12 admin
We give a warm welcome in this podcast session to Larry Nemecek, who is an author, editor, archivist and producer and wears these hats much of the time as a renowned Star Trek authority. He has helped provide valuable insights into the production side of the franchise, and this includes him making a great effort at recording many many interviews with the staff behind the scenes as well as the actors and actresses from the Star Trek universe.
In this session of the podcast we are interviewing Larry in particular with his newest publication “Star Trek Stellar Cartography: The Starfleet Reference Library”. 
The Starfleet Stellar Cartography maps/book set (poster map set and guide book) is a team effort captained by Larry with artists Geoffrey Mandel, Ian Fullwood and Ali Ries (Reece) for an officially licensed updated set of stellar cartography maps and guide book published  by 47North and Becker & Mayer. This is out now and you can order the book at Amazon (UK website) here and the American Amazon site here
You can download the interview as an MP3 file
      8. here
In this session we learn:-
-How Larry’s love of history has helped him map the Star Trek galaxy.
-What Larry believes will impact the reader the most when they open up the map set and guide. 
-How some awkward canon elements were properly fitted in, including squeezing in the Delphic Expanse.
-About the maps from different races of Star Trek.
-What did each of the artists Larr worked with bring to the table for this project. 
-How the Dominion War (Deep Space Nine) was placed onto the maps in a way that makes sense.
 Don’t forget that Ali Ries who we interviewed in Issue 33 of 3D Art Direct magazine contributed to this publication with her wonderful nebula artwork, creating a couple of the maps and the box artwork.
Posted in: PodcastTagged in: Book ReviewLarry NemecekStar TrekStellar CartographyPodcast Read more... 0 comments

3DAD 021 : The Complete Guide to DAZ Studio 4 - Book Review with the Author Paolo Ciccone

2013-11-17 23:02:15 admin



In this session we interview  Paolo Ciccone with his new book “The Complete Guide to DAZ Studio 4”.

You can find out more about the book here:-


And the book is also available on Amazon here:-


You can download the MP3 of the podcast

      9. here

Suprisingly, despite the wide reach and community of the DAZ Studio software (it’s a free application), there are not many publications to choose from when it comes to learning the software. Of course, there are the DAZ 3D forums where you can get answers to specific queries, but a complete map and guide to using the sofware in the form of a book will be greatly useful.

The book is aimed at those starting out with DAZ Studio up to the level of mostly intermediate users, but more advanced level users will find gems in here also.

The author, Paolo Ciccone is a software engineer and photographer who now lives in Santa Cruz, California. 

He is an experienced software developer with 20 years of experience. His field of expertise is developing applications  for both Mac OS and Windows  that assist computer graphics artists achieve photorealistic results. He founded Prêt-à-3D (www.preta3d.com) in 2010 , a company dedicated to bringing high-end computer graphics tools to the masses. 

His Reality software for Poser and DAZ Studio has been used for video game illustration and for the preproduction of Hollywood large budget movies such as Jurassic Park IV and Hunger Games: Catching Fire. 

In this session we ask Paolo about:-

– His first contact with DAZ Studio the strengths he noted from it during his early use of the software.

– Whether he immediately saw a gap in the market for the book? Or did it take some time for you to identify some needs of the DAZ Studio community that could be fulfilled?

– We talk about the by-line of the book “Community Experience Distilled”. 

– The book cover artwork.

– Paolo is an educator and writer in the 3D Arts world, but this Was Paolo’s first book project. What were some of his early barriers he had to overcome in starting up and getting a writing regime going?

– Who the the book is aimed for?

– The mind-set barrier of being able to pose figures naturally when first starting and how this book overcomes that barrier.

– How the book covers creating new characters with morphs – the ability to start adapting existing characters to create new ones.

– The practical content of the book – customising DAZ studio, finding and installing new content and navigating the studio environment.

– The aspects of lighting covered in two major chapters : lighting a scene and achieving photo realism with the Reality Plugin.

– How the new Dawn figure is covered in the book- what readers can learn about using this figure.

– Paolo’s favourite topic or chapter.



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3DAD 020 : The new Dawn figure for Poser and DAZ Studio from Hivewire3D - we interview the creators

2013-09-16 22:50:17 admin

Hivewire 3D is a new corner of the character artwork universe, a destination where new or experienced users of the Poser or Daz Studio software—can come to share, shop, and sell digital content. Hivewire 3D aims to build a hive-like community with productivity, collaboration, and like-minded individuals working towards a common goal.

Founded by Christopher Creek, the creator of Victoria and Michael, and an original founder of DAZ 3D; HiveWire 3D is a new connection to all things digital content. The emphasis is for an open and welcoming market and community for Poser or DAZ Studio, hobbyist or professional, where “everyone is welcome to join the swarm.”

In this session we are pleased to interview Eric Merritt , Chris Creek,  Steve Kondris and Paul Lesard from HiveWire 3D and discover the story of Dawn, the new weight-mapped figure for Poser and DAZ Studio.


Nikki for Dawn by Virtual World

Dawn is the newest in a line of significant figures developed by Chris Creek, who created the original Poser figures, Dork and Posette, and the original Michael and Victoria figures.

Dawn is for both Poser and DAZ Studio users in mind, with two versions available, one with native Poser files compatible with Poser 9 and above, and another with native DAZ Studio files compatible with DAZ Studio 4.5 and above.

You can download the podcast session

      10. here

I’m also pleased to announce a new live and on-line conference for the Poser community: Poser Expo 2 : Creative Professionals Live. Chris Creek and his crew from HiveWire 3D will be the keynote speakers at the beginning of the conference, and then we’ll go into nine more webinar sessions of Poser training content on the weekend of the 18th-20th of October, with some of the brightest and creative minds in the community presenting.

Poser Expo 2 : Creative Professionals Live

At the moment there is a reduced price for the event tickets that will get you into ALL the webinars. Up until around the end of September, you can take advantage of a 23% discount on the ticket price.


Posted in: DawnPodcastTagged in: Chris CreekDawnDaz StudioHivewire3DPoserPoser ExpoPodcast Read more... 1 comment

3DAD 019 : New Terragen 3 Professional with Oshyan Greene from Planetside Software

2013-08-11 21:03:59 admin



In this session of the podcast, we’re pleased to interview Oshyan Greene, business manager at Planetside Software on the new release of Terragen 3 Professional.

Download and listen to the podcast

      11. here

      12. http://traffic.libsyn.com/3dartdirect/Session19.mp3

For those of you who don’t know much about Terragen, I can tell you that If you like the idea of applying 3D graphics to create photo-realistic natural environments, then Terragen is definitely for you. Another upside of this software is if you go to planetside.co.uk and go to the products section, there is a free pre-release edition of Terragen 3.

In this session we talk with Oshyan on:-

– The build-up for the release of Terragen 3 and som of the early feedback of T3 as features of it became public.

– How Terragen 3 started. Was it based on the platform of Terragen 2, or is it a completely new product written from the ground up?

– The story of how T3 was utilised for the sc-fi film Oblivion.

– The T3 Global Illumination Surface Details option.

– Fast and noise free depth of field in T3.

– The new spherical camera option.

– When T3 becomes available and what will the variants of the software be?


3D Art Live is planning to create a new TERRALIVE webinar based conference for the Terragen community, this time with a focus on the new Terragen 3.

If you would like to sign up to let us know what you would like to see featured or emphasised at the conference, you can have your say at 3DArtLive.com/Terralive

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3DAD 018 : Vue Animation with Michel Rondberg & Drea Horvath from D&D Creations

2013-07-22 16:40:52 admin

In this session, we get behind the scenes of D&D Creations and learn how this powerful partnership of Drea Horvath and Michel Rondberg was created. Many people in the Vue community will have heard of least one of these names, so you can discover more about this partnership in this session, what they did in their early years to get to the level of success they have achieved now.


Even they are suprised how fast they have got involved in commercial and non-commercial productions of bigger studios in a relatively short time. It’s been only since the start of the year since they officially launched their services, but during their first few months they has already worked on a cinematic trailer, a historical animation, and building scenes for a big commercial 3D projection mapping project.

Download the podcast

      13. here

If you have considered animation in Vue or are trying to improve or optimise your animation work in Vue, Make a note of this live webinar event in your diaries which will be on the 3rd and 4th of August; the first weekend in August. It’s entitled “Animating Nature” and the URL to book a webinar seat is 3dartlive.com/vueanimation, so we hope to see you there or take advantage of the recording.

The MasterClass webinar event is recommended to Vue users from intermediate to professional level. If your goal is to become a professional, if you’re already in the industry, or if you’re just interested in learning to animate the digital nature, these webinars are suitable for you!

Check out this animation teaser to see what kind of effects you can achieve with animating nature in Vue.

BONUS!!! – If you register for our MasterClasses, you will get an exclusive 50% discount coupon for one-time use in the D&D Creations Digital Store. All MasterClass attendees will also get an exclusive 3D content to download.

In this podcast session we learn:-

– Recommendations of what the latest versions of Vue can offer, especially to newer artists.
– How Drea and Michel were introduced to 3D landscape art.
– How Michel released his own album at 15!
– How Drea was invited to provide the cover artwork for 3D World issue 156.
– Optimising animation in Vue


D&D Creations Website





Posted in: PodcastTagged in: AnimationD&D CreationsDrea HorvathE-on VueMichel RondbergVuePodcast Read more... 1 comment

3DAD 017 : Star Trek Phase II Visual Effects Interview with Tobias Richter from The Light Works

2013-07-08 15:44:01 admin

 Back Camera

In this session we learn how a hobby for computer games and graphics led to a notable visual effects business headed by Tobias Richter based in Cologne, Germany called “The Light Works”. His company is now used by main industry clients such as Atari, CBS Digital and Lucas Arts as well as indie film producers for quality visual effects.

Download the MP3 file 

      14. here

Discover in this episode:-

– Tobias has an amazing working environment, filled with sci-fi physical models that act as a great reference to creating virtual ones.

– How physical model building is a useful discipline for virtual modeling.

– How The Light Works company started.

– The secrets of how high quality visual effects are created on a relatively small budget.

– Tobias’s main tools and workflow.

– The Light Works involvement in Star Trek Phase II.

– Tobias and Fedcon – a major annual Star Trek convention in Germany.

– Tobias’s visit to George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch.

– The more recent projects of “Nobility” and the “5th Passenger”


Check out a reel of completed projects at thelightworks.com and look out for stuff in production at their facebook page.

If you’ve enjoyed this session, let us know  your feedback at iTunes.

Posted in: PodcastTagged in: AnimationMayaStar Trek Phase IIThe Light WorksTobias RichterVisual EffectsPodcast Read more... 1 comment

3DAD 016 : Poser Pro Custom Clothing Creation with Sergio Martinez from Xurge3D

2013-05-31 23:03:38 admin

Sergio Martinez from Xurge3D creates custom outfits for Poser. As a content creator for Poser, Sergio has invested many years in this application, starting out with Poser 4 back in 1999. His specialisation is in fantasy and sci-fi outfits which fits right in with 3D Art Direct’s coverage of the sci-fi and fantasy genres in the 3D Digital Arts world. We’re very pleased to interview Sergio in this Podcast session and discover his passion for clothing design and providing some outstanding content for Poser. Be sure to visit www.xurge3d.com since there is a deep discount sale at the moment that is due to end very soon.

Ever wondered how to create Poser accessories and clothing? Sergio will reveal step by step how he creates his custom clothing with his three part live webinar conference on Saturday 8th and 9th June 2013. Go to www.3DArtLive.com to register.

Fantasy Ranger

Download the Podcast

      15. here

In this episode we learn:

– What got Sergio hooked into Poser clothing content creation.

– What were some of the most difficult challenges you had to overcome when bringing his content to market.

– Find out which Poser character continues to attract the most sales for Xurge3D.

– What is “conforming clothing” for Poser.

– What’s the difference between “dynamic clothing” and “conforming clothing.”

– What’s been the most satisfying product for Sergio to create and why?

– Where have some of Sergio’s influences originated from for clothing design.

Posted in: PodcastTagged in: Content CreationInterviewPoerPoser ClothingPoser Pro 2014Sergio MartinezUV MapperXurge 3DPodcast Read more... 0 comments

3DAD 015 : Directing the Sci-Fi Series Nobility : Interview with Pioneering Digital Film Maker Neil Johnson

2013-05-15 19:51:07 admin

In this session we continue to follow the progress of the sci-fi series project CAS Nobility which is actively pitching for crowd sourced funding on the Kickstarter.com website. Go to Kickstarter.com and just search for nobility and take a look at the videos describing the project, which feature E.J. Del La Pena, the creator of the Nobility project and also the director Neil Johnson. They are offering all kinds of goodies to those who donate to the project. We interview both E.J. and Neil in this session, with an emphasis on Neil’s directing role and past achievements.


Taken from the second VFX promotional reel created by Lightworks, a visual effects company based in Germany headed by Tobias Richter.

Download the Podcast

      16. here

E.J. De la Pena is an Actor/Film Maker with more than 20-years experience in the entertainment industry. He’s been a child actor who has earned dozens of credits – including projects like Jingle All The Way and Boy Meets World. He is now the president and founder of the film production company Cowboy Errant!

Neil Brook Johnson (July 26, 1967) is a British film and music video producer, director, and editor best known for his long association with heavy metal band Manowar, and for directing and writing Science Fiction Films. Neil is regarded as a pioneer in digital film-making. He has to his credit over 20 years experience in the industry including 6 feature films and 500 music videos.

Highlights of Neil’s career

– The youngest paid director in Australia

– Demons In My Head (1997) is reputed to be the world’s first digital film

– His second film, To Become One (2000) was produced for exactly $2,196 [5] as proof that you do not need money to make a successful film

– In 2008, he made Humanity’s End, a film about the last man in the universe being hunted down to extinction by a race of beings known as the Nephilim. In fact, all his films take place in the same universe and all contain Nephilim as characters dominating mankind


– 20 years experience

– 6 feature films

– 500 music videos

– 5000 productions

– Specialising in music/sci-fi/drama

In this podcast we learn…

– The latest news on the creation of the Nobility series
– What attracted Neil to working on Nobility
– Neil’s commitment and work ethic as a director
– The George Lucas connection!

Posted in: PodcastTagged in: E.J. De Le PenaNeil JohnsonNobilitySci-fi Read more... 0 comments

3DAD 014 : Vue Educators - Interview with Vladmir and Ami Chopine at GeekAtPlay Studios

2013-05-03 19:59:20 admin

In this session I’m interviewing the husband and wife team that run the GeekAtPlay studio website which is totally focussed on education for 3D digital artists.

What delighted me most about Vladmir and Amy Chopin’s efforts for teaching 3D Digital Art applications is the sheer amount of content they provide.  Today is May 3rd 2013, and I’ve just looked at their YouTube channel – GeekAtplay studio and I can see seven new videos uploaded just two days ago.

Now admittedly, this is probably to do with the fact that Vue 11.5 has been released and Vladmir is showing what’s new for this version, so this is probably a few more than he would normally upload, but during our interview he mentioned he had created around 1500 training videos.

In fact GeekAtPLay specialise in Vue, so if you want to start digital art with creating 3D environments with a great sense of realism, you could download a trial or free version of Vue from e-onsoftware.com and start looking at Vladmir’s training videos on YouTube.

Now Amy Chopin is equally busy, she’s the author of 3D Art Essentials, which is a great start for 3D digital artist in getting to know the basics on the history, the terms of 3D art. But it covers modelling, posing, texturing, creating scenery, animation and rendering.

Vladmir is originally from Moscow, Russia and now lives with Amy in Utah, in the United States. I started asking Vladmir about his early experiences with film and classic animation whilst in his teens.

In this session we cover:-

  • Vladmir’s early exposure to film and classic cartoon animation whilst in Moscow, Russia.
  • Learning what were some of the earliest 3D software tools that Vladmir used.
  • Ami’s career as a  professional writer who’s written “3D Art Essentials: The Fundamentals of 3D Modeling, Texturing, and Animation: The Fundamentals of 3D Modeling and Animation’ .
  • How giving away content actually helps grow a business quickly
  • The clean and beautiful design of the GeekAtPlay.com studio website
  • The insertion of images of live human figures into a Vue scene, as an alternative to using Poser.
  • Vladmir’s hobby of photography.
  • The top two aspects of Vue that Vladmir is asked most about
  • Thoughts of where Vue should evolve next.

Download the podcast 

      17. here

Let me know what you thought of this podcast and if you’ve enjoyed this session, please leave a review at iTunes

Posted in: PodcastTagged in: 3D Art EssentialsEon SoftwareGeekAtPlayVuePodcast Read more... 0 comments

3DAD 013 : How to Create a Science Fiction Series - The Making of Nobility

2013-04-20 21:47:09 admin

This session is a little different from what 3D Art Direct podcast normally presents, since this time we are exploring the making of a science fiction series –which will be a drama/comedy produced with the aid of crowdfunding. The series is called C.A.S. Nobility – that has the tagline of “These are not the heroes you’re looking for.”. Nobility is the name of the starship in this series with a curious crew of characters on board.

The project is notable because of it’s story, and because of the amount of passion and power behind the project which is generated in gigawats by E.J. De la Pena, the producer AND because he has managed to cast the actress Claudia Christian (from Babylon V) .


This project was brought to my attention through Danny Gordon, who is the new conference and community manager for 3D Art Direct. He is one of the 3D artists on the project and invited me to follow the production of this series. I’ve always had a great interest in the production and what goes on behind the scenes of sci-fi television series and films.

      18. Download the podcast

I mentioned that this series was going to be funded by crowdfunding. What is crowdfunding? It’s a financing method that involves funding a project with relatively modest contributions from a large group of individuals, rather than seeking bigger sums of money from a small number of investors. In this case E.J. De la Pena (E.J. for short), the head of production for this series is using Kickstarter.com for the crowdfunding campaign.

Now if you’ve never been to Kickstarter.com, it’s definitely worth a visit, firstly to check out E.J.’s campaign for Nobility and to contribute to his project. Secondly to see some of the other projects going on. Forinstance a few months ago, we noticed that a new version of the classic 3D vector game Elite was going to be remade through Kickstarter.com, so there are some projects definitely related to 3D graphics that are being funded through this clever means.

So I’d urge you to look at E.J.’s project at nobilitytheseries.com, view the fun campaign video he has created for Nobility.

In this first interview with E.J., we find out how the whole project started, how Claudia Christian came onboard. We learn how the story and characters were crafted, we talk about the Nobility ship design and discover some of E.J’s production team.


Posted in: PodcastTagged in: Babylon VClaudia ChristianCowboy ErrantE.J. De La PenaNobilitySci-Fi seriesSpaceship DesignPodcast Read more... 0 comments

3DAD 012 : Behind the Scenes of Reality 3 - Photo Realism for Poser. Interview with Paolo Ciccone

2013-04-07 21:27:27 admin

This session’s podcast has a wonderful interview with Paolo Ciccone, author of the reality software for Poser and Daz studio which helps these applications take advantage of the incredible LuxRender engine, allowing photo realism for Poser renders. Version 3 of this popular software is about to be released on the 8th April 3013. See Preta3D.com for details.


The Reality 3 Plugin for Poser – Out on the 8th of April. Image by Elaine CK using Reality 2.

Paolo originates from the city of Trieste in Italy and originally worked as a software engineer for Borland before entering into the digital arts world with Reality. He has over 30 years’ experience as a software developer.

In this interview we cover:-

  • Paolo’s legacy and origins including his studies at the Art Institute of Trieste.
  • The PC revolution and how Paolo took advantage of it with a career as a software engineer.
  • Paolo’s take up and promotion of Blender.
  • His discovery of the LuxRender engine and desire to bridge this photo-realistic engine with Blender, Daz Studio and Poser.
  • How the first version of Reality took the market by storm and how it has developed as a product since.
  • The new “wow” factors of Reality 3 for Poser users.

Paolo also presented at the Poser Expo : Runtime Live conference, held between the 22nd and 24th of March 2013, which was the first ever conference Poser users, presented through our 3D Art Live webinar service in partnership with Runtime DNA. I give a special thanks to all the presenters that did an  incredible service to the Poser communities in the professionalism of their content. Many attendees found the content of the eleven webinars rich and rewarding, especially as they go over the recordings of the conference.

Now if you couldn’t make the conference, we covered such topics as:-

The materials room, two rigging masterclasses, behind the scenes of reality 3, dynamic clothing, realityPaint, the GoZ plugin & preparing models in zBrush for Poser, composition and story telling with Poser, lighting, rendering, a UV mapping masterclass as well as history of Poser the software and it’s communities through the years.

These were all recorded and you can gain copies of these as individual sessions. But it works out at the best value if you purchase the entire set of recordings, which you can do at www.3DArtLive.com/recordings


Posted in: PodcastTagged in: Paolo CicconePhotorealismPoserPoser ProReality 3Reality pluginPodcast Read more... 0 comments

3DAD 011 : How to Sell Digital Art Content - Interview with Clint Hawkins from YUR Digital

2013-02-27 21:06:54 admin

This session we have a fantastic interview with Clint Hawkins, who is the CEO of YUR Digital, a content marketplace website that also offers a forum and art gallery for digital artists. Clint offers a great deal of support for content creators selling in the YUR digital store.

YUR hosts regular competitions and there is one running right now with the theme “twisted”. This has a first prize of “Filter Forge Professional 3” software.


You can download the podcast

      19. here

With over 30 years of experience in the computer and digital art industry Clint Hawkins leads the daily operations of YURdigital. Clint’s extensive and stable work history includes 17 years as a computer engineer for Data General, three years as a Systems Administrator with S1, 10 years with Bondware and three years as a successful business owner and eBay Power Seller.While at Bondware Clint worked his way up from a volunteer Moderator, Product Tester, to Market Place Manager.

He played an integral part of the successful and rapid growth of the Renderosity digital art marketplace. He has an intimate knowledge of what it takes to grow this type of business from the ground up. Most recently Clint spent 8 months assisting RunTimeDNA with their day-to-day operations expanding his experience, knowledge base and exemplary reputation. His technical background, business experience with two digital art brokerage sites and his own business, combined with his positive reputation put him in a position to make YURdigital the place to get exceptional digital art content from extraordinary digital artists.

This session includes:-

  • How Clint provides a continuous stream of wise and useful quotations for his Facebook followers!
  • Some of Clint’s early experiments with digital art applications,
  • Clint’s involvement with  Renderosity and what he learned as he helped successfully grew the market place.
  • How YUR Digital was started and some of the early hurdles when setting up the  company.
  • What helps YUR Digital stand apart from other content market places. How Clint helps the content providers feel valued,
  • Clint outlines the steps for a new seller who wants to start selling digital art content.
  • The marketing successes of Clint’s wife Lillian who is the marketing director at YUR Digital.
  • The role of Baron Thomas Von Buettner, who is the YUR-Roving Reporter in the Visual Effects motion picture industry.

If you’ve enjoyed listening to this episode via iTunes, then please leave a brief review of our podcast, which will help other digital artists benefit from the content!



Posted in: PodcastTagged in: BrokerageClint HawkinsSelling ContentYUR DigitalPodcast Read more... 1 comment

3DAD 010 : Poser Expo Conference and Interview with Syyd from Runtime DNA

2013-01-31 21:26:59 admin

“Oxygen” textures & shaders by Syyd providing natural skin

RuntimeDNA is a large digital community in the 3D Poser industry. It provides a wide selection of digital content and provides a great learning environment for its members with a very active forum who are from all over the world. A large user art gallery also reflects the vibrant community. The store boasts over 2500 products with more than 100 content creators!

Syyd Raven is an award winning 3D artist who began the journey of creating this community back in 2001, with Colm Jackson and Eric Van Dycke. 3D Art Direct is very pleased to have just interviewed Syyd for this tenth session of our podcast.

You can download the podcast 

      20. here


The updated and rebuilt version of Vanilla Sky with all new SSS shaders

In this interview we learn:-

  • How Syyd delighted in sketching from an early age and her first efforts at digital art.
  • What has improved the most from Syyd’s perspective in the current Poser 9 and Poser Pro 2012 versions for texture artists.
  • Why and how Runtime DNA started and what were some of the early challenges when Runtime started.
  • The strengths of the international staff at Runtime.
  • How the Runtime DNA community has evolved over the years.
  • The story of how her top two products were created and brought to market.

In association with Runtime DNA, we are creating a live conference for the Poser community, called “Poser Expo: Runtime Live”. This will be a set of webinars held over the weekend of 22nd to the 24th of March.

You can sign up now to our mailing list at 3D Art Live to learn more about this conference and gain entrance to an introductory free webinar where you’ll meet some top artists from the Poser world as well as meeting live with fellow Poser users. This introductory session will give you a chance to experience the same webinar environment which we will use for the main conference.


Poser Expo : Runtime Live is by and for the Poser community. It will feature a spectaclular set of ten webinars with some familiar names presenting essential content that will raise your artwork to the next level.

For the first time, you will be meeting top artists and fellow forum members in a live setting. You’ll be able to immediately engage with them through live chat and audio.

Live webinars will allow you to rapidly understand the Poser applications. Learning is deeper and accelerated in comparison to other forms of absorbing content online. Recordings of each of our webinars are available for the attendee to go over the video and audio again to pick up something that may have been missed.

You’ll get a direct and quick connection to an expert artist, rather than getting to know them through a manual or blog post. It’s the next best thing to meeting a skilled artist in person.

Sign up now to an introductory webinar and learn more about Poser Expo : Runtime Live.


Posted in: PodcastTagged in: CommunityPoserPoser ExpoPoser ProPoser pro 2012Runtime DNASyyd RavenPodcast Read more... 0 comments

3DAD 009 : Create 3D Natural Environments with Terragen : Interview with Oshyan Greene from Planetside Software

2012-12-14 10:41:19 admin

Welcome to session 9 and I am super stoked to introduce an interview with Oshyan (Ocean) Greene, the business manager of Planetside Software, which creates the highly regarded Terragen software. We cover how Terragen started, how Oshyan got involved in working for Planetside after being involved as a community member and supporting the software.

You can download the podcast 

      21. here

Terragen 2 artwork by Frank Basinski

In this session we cover:-

  • How Oshyan first got involved with Terragen and how working with the Terragen community drew him in to a higher level of involvement
  • How the TG community has developed since Oshyan was involved.
  • What was Terragen’s roots? Did it have much influence from Bryce?
  • What are the key advantages of Terragen 2 over Terragen classic?
  • The story of how Paramount’s 100th anniversary logo was created with Terragen 2.
  • Terragen 2 and X-Frog plants. How easy is it to populate a scene with vegetation? Is it quite scalable in terms of the amount of vegetation that can fill a landscape?
  • Has Ranch Computing’s render farm service been put to good use by hobbyists as well as professionals?
  • The discount available for Terragen 2 with X-Frog bundle during the Christmas 2012 period.

For those of you who don’t know much about Terragen, I can tell you that If you like the idea of applying 3D graphics to create photo-realistic natural environments, then Terragen is definitely for you. Another upside of this software is if you go to planetside.co.uk and go to the products section, there is a free edition of Terragen2 as well as the original Terragen Classic. Both create natural realism for environments, but TG2 being the latest version, has the greater power and sophistication and it now sports the ability to create animations, where you can fly a virtual camera through your landscape and create a movie.

This month of December 2012, the 3D Art Direct podcast and the magazine is promoting Terragen and it’s community. So if you are a Terragen user and a community member at one of the forums and are listening to us for the first time, welcome to the podcast and I hope you enjoy the treats that we have in store for you.

The biggest treat I have for the Terragen community is that we are creating a live conference, called TERRALIVE for the Terragen 2 and Terragen Classic users on the 19th to the 20th of January 2013.

You’ll have the opportunity to to connect with other Terragen users and expert artists in a live setting through the use of webinar software, so you won’t even have to arrange travel or accommodation to be at the conference!

The advantage of this event, is that you can get to directly meet artists that you’ve previously only seen in a forum. You’ll hear their voice and see their own computer desktops as they go through various techniques, tips and tricks to help you get the best out of the Terragen software. You can ask them, either through audio or by instant messaging points you don’t understand and get to learn much faster than ever before.

There will be five sessions (and perhaps a bonus sixth session), each led by a different expert artist. We are pleased to include Martin Huisman AKA Tangeled Universe from New World Digital Arts  which is a great resource for Terragen 2.

If you are going to take just one action from this podcast, I’d like you to note down this web address www.3DArtLive.com/TERRALIVE.

Here you can sign up for the introductory session of the conference being held on the earlier date of Saturday the 5th of January at 08:00PM GMT. This webinar will give more details about the main conference event, but you’ll also meet Danny Gordon, moderator for a number of Terragen forums as well as Martin (Tangled Universe) and we’ll give some of their top tips for Terragen 2 and Classic. Of course, you’ll also meet other members of the Terragen community.

Enjoy our interview with Ocean and listen out for the discount package on Terragen 2 that Oshyan mentions at the end of the podcast.

Posted in: PodcastTagged in: Landscape ArtOshyanPlanetsideTerragenTerragen 2Terragen ClassicTERRALIVEPodcast Read more... 0 comments

3DAD 008 : Creating 3D Models for Games : Interview with Shaun Williams

2012-12-01 23:27:49 admin

My interview this session is with Shaun Williams, who is the king of mass space model production, creating numerous models for the various games software he has worked on through the 20 years of his career.

After listening to the interview, I’d love to know your successes in creating models for games.

You can download the podcast 

      22. here

In association with this I have been reading today that there has been a noteworthy article from the U.K.’s The Independent newspaper announcing that the Museum of Modern Art in New York has publically supported computer games as a form of art. This of course includes 3D games. There has been a lively debate over the last decade of whether games can be described as art. With this announcement from this prestigous New York art museum, then it looks official, that games can be described as art!

Visitors to the Museum of Modern Art will soon see Pac-Man displayed alongside Andy Warhol and Picasso. Initially there are 14 video games, including the iconic Pac-Man, Eve on-line and Myst (Chuck Carter interviewed in issue 12). to start off this new category in its collection.

One expert who advised the curators, said gaming could increasingly become “one of the most important” art forms.

The museum sought out scholars, historians, critics and legal experts from the computer game world to draw up a list that includes The Sims, a series which by last year had sold over 150 million copies. Art connoisseurs may raise an eyebrow as gamers will actually be able to play the titles in the gallery.

So perhaps in years to come, some of the work that my interviewee Shaun or you the listener is creating may end up in an Art Museum, with pride of place!

About Shaun Williams

Shaun has about 20 years of modelling experience – including texture/uv mapping, high and low poly modeling, real time 3d engine experience such as Unreal versions 2 and 3,  UDK, Freespace, Unity as well as years of game design experience.

He has a BA honours in games design and his passion is for games and entertainment and has a keen interest in sci-fi. He specialises in low and high poly modeling for environments, vehicles and props. He sells high quality sci-fi models online through various brokers.  He also like to design and concept sci-fi and futuristic weapons, vehicles, props and environments and has experience with animation for film and games. Over the years he has used many 2d and 3d applications dating back to delux paint on the Amiga.

Covered in this Session:-

  • Shaun has a BA honours in Games Design from UCLAN (Preston). What inspired him to take the course and what were some of the highlights. Does Shaun recommend other prospective students to take the course?
  • What is Shaun’s  preferred 3D engine?  What are some of the pros and cons of the engines he has worked with so far?
  • What is some of the more popular models Shaun sells and is it that sets them apart?
  • Shaun has created a  fictional story that includes his  ship designs as part of the narrative.
  • Shaun mentioned in his original magazine interview : “The spaceships I design are practical, functional and believable.  I make every ship look like the purpose it is designed for.”. We ask if he has a set of hurdles that he tries and put his designs through in order to get that practicality and functionality?
  • What skills are involved in creating a good low poly model, as opposed to a high polygon model?
  • One tip Shaun includes is “always think outside the box, especially with sci-fi.  Too many people are still inside the box, and to stand out a little more you have to come up with creative and imaginative new ideas and concepts.”.  How can people think out of the box to come up with more original new ideas and concepts? What do Shaun do to try and break the mould?
  • What are you working on at the moment and what are a few things you’ve learned from the project?

Action Items:-

If you feel that this podcast session has been of value to you, leave us a review on iTunes!



Shaun’s animations on YouTube

UCLAN University Games Design Degree




Posted in: PodcastTagged in: 3d modelsGamingInterviewShaun WilliamsUnityUnrealPodcast Read more... 1 comment

3DAD 007 : Sci-Fi Spacecraft Design: Is It Really Rocket Science?

2012-10-31 23:57:35 admin

I’m discussing the question of  “Sci-fi spacecraft design : is it really rocket science?” with two special guests: Rob Caswell, who we’ve previously interviewed as a DAZ Studio artist in Session 3 and secondly Tom Peters who likewise publishes artwork on DeviantArt.

The topic is whether more science should be involved in sci-fi ship design, or should we just go with cool looking ships that would end up burning up in the nearest atmosphere!

After listening to the discussion, I’d love to know your thoughts on sci-fi spacecraft design – are you more pro-science or pro-cool looking design in not worrying about the science or somewhere in between.

You can download the podcast 

      23. here

About Rob Caswell

Since his fingers could hold a pencil, Rob has been passionate about designing sci-fi spacecraft. He was trained as scientist but is terrible at math, so he’s spent his career as an illustrator and designer.

He’s produced illustrations for many games, in many formats, and has done interior illustrations for a number of sci-fi novels. You can see his current works on his Deviant Art profile under the username Arcas-Art.

About Tom Peters

Tom Peters has been thinking about spaceships since his childhood. He isn’t a rocket scientist, but he’s worked with some, as a Technical Illustrator for a NASA subcontractor. He’s been an Illustrator and designer in the computer and paper game fields, and has done cover art for science fiction novels.He’s also a Insturment-rated Private Pilot.

You can check out his illustrative works at Deviant Art under the name Drell-7.

Covered in this Session:-

1. What separates a “bad” sci-fi vehicle design from a “good” one?

Factual spacecraft have their designed firmly centred in function. But you would hope that fictional spacecraft design should hopefully be advanced enough to include more aesthetically pleasing features. A bit like the Ford Model T vs the DeLorean.  Early cars such as the Ford Model T doesn’t even have cup holders, but the DeLorean has cool doors and is made of out stainless steel and it’s so good it gets its own movie!

Science fiction has an audience, that includes scientists that design space hardware– but even they want to be entertained! Organisations creating real world spacecraft now have tight funding, so designs can’t afford to be superfluous.

What is “bad” and “good” depends on your scii-fi audience. You could broadly divide sci-fi audiences into:-

  1. Functional nerds. (2001 :  A Space Odyssey)
  2. Entertainment fans. (Star Wars) (They don’t care about function – just speed)
  3. A Mix of the Two (Star Trek) . They like nice looking ships, but they would prefer some explanation (even if its an attempt) about how some of the bits work.

But perhaps an official answer is that a good a sci-fi spacecraft design has the majority of it based around function, rather than cool looks or too many greebles.

2. Since it’s science fiction, does it even matter?

It matters if you want to earn a fast buck and fill movie seats or have your sci-fi authored books fly off the shelf!

What do you want your audience to do? To react with “cool” and drool, or to talk about the finer points of how ion drives work?

By coming up with designs that have style you can just “reverse engineer” the functionality back into it. Imagination will find a way.

3. What do you think of as some of sci-fi’s “bad” designs, and why?

Find out in the podcast what we consider the worst designs in the universe to be.

4. What about the genre’s “good” designs, and why?

5. Isn’t it asking too much for artists to be scientists AND engineers as well?

Yes. It’s hard enough to learn all the knobs and buttons to create a 3D digital model in the first place. The artist is craving feedback as well; is he going to get it by designing a functional and ugly spaceship?

6. Are there any cases where what you call “bad” designs that could be good?

Is this  a case of “reverse engineering” the functions back into a sleek (or bad) design.

7. What do you see as the forces that have shaped scifi spacecraft design through the years?

– Designs influence other designs…eg Leonov influenced Omega Class Babylon V destroyers. There’s a rotating space station and a streamlined space shuttle in George Pal’s 1954 Conquest of Space that prefigured 2001 A Space Odyssey by some 15 years.

– Industrial Light & Magic’s (ILM) Colin Cantwell created the concept model that established the TIE fighter’s ball-cockpit and hexagonal wing design for A New Hope. Initially given a blue color scheme, the TIE fighter models for the first Star Wars movie were grey to better film against a bluescreen; TIE fighters in the next two movies shifted back to being a muted blue.

Budgets due to popularity of sci-fi at the time. Eg Star Wars was produced on a low budget from models made with bashed up model kits.

– It depends on how the illustrators and production designers were directed. 2001 was driven by functional accuracy so NASA input was involved?

– Star Trek Star Trek art director Matt Jefferies designed the original Enterprise, which was originally named Yorktown in series creator Gene Roddenberry’s first outline drafts of the series. Jeffries’ experience with aviation led to his Enterprise designs being imbued with what he called “aircraft logic”.

– According to Star Wars creator George Lucas, the Falcon’s design was inspired by a hamburger, with the cockpit being an olive on the side.  The ship originally had a more elongated appearance, but the similarity to the Eagle Transporters in Space: 1999 prompted Lucas to change the Falcon’s design.

8. Who do you see (directors, production designers, and/or artists) doing the best spacecraft design today?

Action Items

  • If you feel compelled to do so, leave us a review on iTunes!
  • If you have an opinion on spaceship design, leave a reply to this post.
  • What is your favourite spacecraft design? Your worst?


1. So you want to build a rocket and get some good science on how to do so?


2. Tom and Rob decided to design the Leonov spaceship model from the description and concepts written in “2010” by Arthur C Clarke. This ship was agreed to be one of the more scientifically accurate spacecraft in popular fiction.

You can see artwork with the resulting model here:-


3. More handy rules for designing spacecraft “Atkin’s Laws”


4. A light hearted list of the top 100 spaceships in movies



Posted in: PodcastTagged in: ModellingRob CaswellSCi-Fi Spaceshipsscience fictionSpaceship DesignTom PetersPodcast Read more... 0 comments

3DAD 006 : How to create character digital art with impact: Interview with Deedee Davies on Poser Pro and Photoshop

2012-09-20 21:51:42 admin

In this session I interview a British artist called Deedee Davies who creates some outstanding artwork with Carrara Pro, Vue, Poser Pro and Photoshop.

Have you ever wondered how to create art with impact, especially for media such as book covers? Deedee reveals some tips on this and other great resources as she talks about her artwork.

I hope you enjoy the interview with Deedee and take a look at her portfolio at www.3dfantasyart.co.uk/

You can download the podcast

      24. here

In the interview we cover:-

  • How to create art with impact. Does less really mean more? eBook covers Vs physical book covers.
  • Trying to gain decent colour palettes in your scenes; using complementary colours. Deedee mentions the tool http://colorschemedesigner.com/ 
  • “Too little emotion and your character looks like a shop window dummy, too much and they look crazed.”. Using the Liquify tool in Photoshop to overcome this.
  • What was it like for Deedee when she gained her first commissions and in helping to sell stories and novels for authors with her book cover artwork?.
  • Deedee picks two of her favourite book cover commisions. What was the journey like in creating these, what did she learn by the end of completing them?
Action Items
  • If you feel compelled to do so, leave us a review on iTunes!
  • If you have an aspect of Poser that you need to learn in more depth, try our Poser Workshop webinar
  • Check out Deedee’s Photoshop Liquify tool tutorial
  • Visit Deedee’s website – take the Vampire personality test
  • If you are professional digital artist, that has an interest in webinars – contact me to partner on producing webinar content on 3D Art Live. 50% shared profit scheme available.
Posted in: PodcastTagged in: Book coverscarraraCharacter ArtDeeDee DaviesPhotoshopPodcast InterviewPoser ProPodcast Read more... 0 comments

3DAD 005 : All About ZBrush with Les Garner from Sixus1 Media and ZBrush Webinar Offer

2012-08-24 15:42:39 admin

In this session we interview Les Garner from Sixus1Media which provides a quality set of services for 3D modeling, texturing, rigging & animation.

It is a family run business involving his wife Rebekah and now son in producing content that quite a few of the artists interviewed in the pages of the 3D Art Direct magazine have used and rated highly!

Les has operated his business for over twelve years later, having turned out probably more original figures/characters than anyone else in the business. Prior to getting into digital art and 3d, Les was a comic book illustrator and airbrush artist, which he still provides as services in Sixus1Media today.  And if you look at the content that he produces, it will confirm to you that the character aspect of the work has always the major artistic focus for his business.

In this interview with Les we talk about  Z-Brush, a digital sculpting tool which has superb advantages in creating 3D models.

Most importantly 3D Art Direct and Sixus1Media will be presenting a live webinar for an introduction to using ZBrush. So if you’ve wondered about using this software or have struggled in using the unique interface, this is the webinar for you. Les Garner will be hosting the webinar live from his desktop, demonstrating the software with his solid experience and understanding of this software and it will be an amazing pportunity to meet the man behind Sixus1Media as well as field some questions personally to Les on using ZBrush.

There is a strict limit of 25 seats for this first webinar, which will be held on Thursday the 13th of September at 20:00 (US/Eastern).

You can sign up for the event at our new website that will act as the portal for booking live webinars: 3DArtLive.com

There’s also a 10% discount on the webinar ticket, which you can gain if you sign up to the newsletter at 3DArtLive.com

Session 5 of the podcast you can 

      25. download here

In the interview we cover:-

  • Les Garner, twelve years in the digital arts industry explains how he has kept going during the ups and downs of his business Sixus1 Media.
  • We talk about ZBrush, which is one Les’s core modelling applications in his workflow. We cover what ZBrush is and what makes it different from similar software.
  • We go over ZBrush’s features of pixols and polypaint and it’s advantage of producing models with a relativly low poly count but with high texture details – perfect for gaming models.
  • Listen to how ZBrush has made a fundamental difference to Sixus1Media’s rate of production for models.
  • Discover Sixus1Media’s top two recommended features of ZBrush and how they have been used in recent work. Les also reveals the top selling custom made and production proven brushes for ZBrush.
  • Finally there’s a few key tips for those just starting out with ZBrush.
Action Items
  • Let me know what you thought about the Podcast!
  • If you’d like to get a great personal introduction to ZBrush at our live webinar by an industry leader, then visit 3DArtLive.com
  • Explore the cool poser and ZBrush content that Les Garner has created at the Runtime DNA site, some of which is free.
Posted in: PodcastTagged in: Digital artist interviewInterviewSixus 1 MediazbrushPodcast Read more... 0 comments

3DAD 004 : Creating steampunk art with Poser Pro 2012 - Interview with digital artist Suzi Amberson

2012-07-26 15:21:19 admin

Suzi Amberson is from sunny Phoenix, Arizona. She worked in the Insurance industry for 24 years before discovering a passion for digital art. Once Suzi realized she was not following her intended path she took a huge leap of faith and left the Insurance business to pursue her enthusiasm for creating 3D art.

Suzi is a self-taught artist. She started out with Poser 6 in 2007. Her CG toolbox has expanded over the past few years and now includes Poser Pro 2012, Photoshop CS5 Extended, a Wacom Intuos 4 tablet, Marvelous Designer 2, Hexagon and Bryce as her tools of choice.

She entered her first official art contest in 2009 over on the Daz3D website. The challenge was to create an image in the spirit of the infamous fantasy artist, Frank Frazetta. The final judging was conducted by Frank Frazetta Jr. One of her entries took third place and fuelled her desire to pursue 3D art as she sought to add interest and depth to her spectacular body of work.

We interview her for Session 4 of the podcast which you can

      26. download here

The URL for Suzi’s gallery is http://kachinadoll.deviantart.com/

The original template of the  Influence Map is a Photoshop template from fox-orion’s gallery at DeviantArt.

In the interview we cover:-

  • How to generate new ideas for your artwork by creating an Influence Map
  • The story of Suzi quitting her job to pursue a career in digital artwork.
  • Marvelous Designer 2
  • What is steampunk and what attracts Suzi to this art genre.
  • Suzi walks us through her favourite steam punk pieces.
  • Making the most of DeviantArt.
  • Tips on getting lighting correct for a scene.
Artwork Referenced in the Podcast

Action Items

  • Let me know what you thought about the Podcast!
  • Create your Influence Map and reply to this post with a link to it. We’d love to see it!
  • Visit Suzi’s gallery at DeviantArt and leave a message of support and feedback for her artwork!
Posted in: PodcastTagged in: 3d digital artBryceDeviantArthexagonInterviewmarvelous designer 2PhotoshopPoserPoser pro 2012steampunkSuzi AmbersonPodcast Read more... 0 comments

3DAD 003 : Science Fiction DAZ Studio Artist - Interview with Rob Caswell

2012-06-22 23:06:27 admin

The third session of the 3D Art Direct Podcast is here, complete with an interview with Daz Studio artist Robert Caswell.

You can download the podcast to your computer or listen to it here on the blog. Additionally, you’ll be able to listen to this session and subscribe via iTunes.

      27. Right click here to download the MP3


I’d like to introduce Rob Caswell, a DAZ 3D Studio artist who grew up during the space race and spent his time watching the Apollo moonshots as well as bat girl on TV, and then managed to avoid these distractions just enough to gain a degree in astronomy. We originally interviewed him in issue 13.

He has a popular space on DeviantArt, with the moniker as “Arcas-Art”, that includes a well written blog and gallery of renders created with DAZ 3D Studio and post processing with Photoshop.

Rob has a good grounding in multiple visual art zones, including science fiction & fantasy illustration for paper and pen RPGs, computer game art and comic book lettering.

He’s currently living in Western Massachusetts, operating a digital print business.

In the interview we cover the following topics and lots more!

– All about Star Trek mock-up Book Covers

– The Spy Girls series with Rob’s character “Cassie Blaine”.

– A drawback of 3D Digital Art is that it is easy to have a lack of focus. You can “doodle” for a long time.

– Likening 3D digital art to “virtual photography”, taking elements that already exist and use these in a unique way from the artist’s own skills and imagination

– Figure work, the more you tweak, the better your chances of imbuing a sense of life and personality.

Action Items

  • Let me know what you thought about the Podcast!
  • Post a comment if you’ve used Daz Studio for figure work – do you have a mirror to use yourself as a model for certain expressions or poses?!
  • Visit the artists above and support them with feedback at their respective galleries.

Some of Rob’s Portfolio… 


Posted in: PodcastTagged in: Daz StudioDeviantArtPoserRob CaswellStar Trek ArtPodcast Read more... 0 comments
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