Portrait of Neill Blomkamp | An interview with Ian Spriggs
We had the pleasure of interviewing Ian Spriggs, character artist responsible for the Portrait of Neill Blomkamp that swept CGSociety a couple of weeks ago. Ian has been in the industry for 10 years and has worked at studios including ILM and Mr. X prior to working with Neill. To stay updated on Ian's amazing portfolio of work, be sure to check out his website or CGSociety Portfolio.
Can you tell us a little bit about what your first project was, as well as some of the challenges you faced while landing it?
My very first project out of school was at Starz Animation in Toronto working on Veggie Tales. It taught me the basics of modelling, and at that point I realized it is what I want to do. It wasn't until I started working at Mr. X VFX that I started modelling characters, which is what I enjoy most. I think it was the complexity of the anatomy that drew me into character modelling, because no matter how much you know, there is always more to learn. I think having a solid demo reel really helped land me those jobs, and I believe that, for a demo reel to stand out from all the rest, it needs to have personal work in it.
How did you connect with Neill? What kind of pressure was there beginning work with him, and what skills helped you?
He sounds incredibly inspiring. We'd love to know the story behind the concept image. Is this an existing photo you were inspired by or an original photo? If the latter, what was the day like when capturing the image and how many photos did you take before landing the perfect one?
What software did you use? Are these the same tools that you use for your traditional studio projects?
Can you talk a little about the importance and process for your use of Maya for an organic sculpt such as this? How did you combine the use of Maya and Mudbox?
Can you give our users a look inside some of the steps behind creating such a photorealistic render? What kind of process went into creating his hair, for instance?
What are some key components to your execution of the finer details like the lines in his hands and the wrinkles in his jacket?
Why is it important to do these personal pieces when you may be pushing 70/80 hour work weeks? Do you pick up new techniques or learn anything new about your process?
That's fantastic, and a piece of advice that is so important for our readers to keep in mind as they navigate the professional art world. So, final question. What was Neill's reaction upon seeing this piece? Were you nervous upon showing him?
Article by Anna Cicone.
Article Source from cgsociety (http://www.cgsociety.org/news/article/2702/portrait-of-neill-blomkamp-an-interview-with-ian-spriggs)