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Tue, Nov 1 2011 19:11:47 UTC

Interview with Dreddon

Today we have an interview with a 3D artist going by the nickname of Dreddon from the UK who creates some great Star Wars fan art.

Could you briefly describe yourself?

I'm Gareth, I'm 28 and from Cumbria, in the North of England, where it seems to rain all the time. I've been doing 3D for 5 years now after studying for a degree at the Cumbria institute of the Arts. Other than that, I'm a standard mix of nerd and gamer, dabbling a little bit in mountain biking.

How did you first become a fan of Star Wars?

I've been a fan for as long as I can remember. I grew up with seeing the original films on TV every Christmas when I was a kid. I've always loved sci-fi. Being into Warhammer 40k and Star Wars set me up to love any sort of sci-fi as a adult (The New Battlestar was amazing). I think a Mixture of computer games and Star Wars are the main reasons I got into doing Computer Graphics.

You've done some amazing Star Wars 3D art, what made you decide to do these pieces?

I've been excited for ToR for a while now, I mean a Star Wars MMO done by Bioware, who have made some of my favorite games ever, it was a no-brainer for me that I was going to play. I've played World of Warcraft and always thought about doing some Fan Art but I always put it off, so I decided before I get too caught up in playing the game I would create some Fan Art work.
It just comes down to I'm a massive fan of ToR and bounty hunters are Kick *** cool.

I'm also a massive fan of community creations, ie. podcasts, so I put in a Easter egg with a TOROcast logo in the background as a little fan service.

What software and tools do you use?

Zbrush, 3D Studio Max and Photoshop using Vray as the render in Max.

Can you walk us through what is involved in creating them?

Once I get an idea for an image, I start with mocking up a really quick concept, sculpt in Zbrush so I can get a feel for the character, and experiment with the form of the model. Then I take the concept to Max and start blocking out the individual elements. I bring them back to Zbrush, detail them up a bit, and work up the model. Once I'm happy with the the model, I unwrap it, bring it back to 3D Studio Max and start working on the textures. For the environment, I model only what I see and use really simple tiling textures.

The lighting is done with Vray, I light the character separately from the environment so it helps it stand out a little. I render some basic passes for the background and character so I have the flexibility to composite later in Photoshop. I use an Ambient Occlusion pass to put back some of the shadow details, then I finish with a paint over in Photoshop.

Were you surprised to be featured by Bioware on a fan Friday update?

It was a nice surprise, I put it up on the forums a while ago so I didn't think they were going to do another one until the game shipped so I was quite surprised.

How has feedback been from others so far?

Great, I think people seem to really like it and I have gotten positive feedback on the forums. People really like the fact I have given high resolution images for their desktop.

Are you working on anything else you can talk about?

Personal projects currently are my Imperial Agent and Ewok model which you can see some work in progress images on my SWTOR thread. I'm hoping that I can get a 3D print of the Ewok for my desk and I'm going to try and finish the Imperial Agent before the 20th of December. I have got a few professional projects on at the moment but I can't talk about them.

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