Interview time with Vektor
Congratulations on winning the Halloween contest, Vektor. You’ve given us a fun twist on a classic piece of folklore. Tell us a little about the inspiration for your piece.
Thank you so very much. These contests really are a great opportunity you give to us, so thank you for that.
Honestly, I think this idea just came to me. I wanted to do something I hadn't seen before, and one day I just thought, "There's a Headless Horseman. What if there were a Headless Horsewoman..." (or Headless Horsefuta) and it just sort of went from there. It was Halloween though, so maybe there was some of Disney's "Legend of Sleepy Hollow'' in there somewhere, which is a disturbing thought. =p I absolutely adore that movie, and watch it every year.
How long have you been making 3DX art? How did you get started?
I've been making 3dx art for several years now. I got started in 3d when a friend of mine brought me a copy of Ray Dream Studio (basically Carrara before there was a Carrara). I installed it, took one look at it, and immediately deleted it from my hard-drive because I knew it would consume me whole, and I'd just end up, like, modeling the entire Star Wars universe or something. (I have done several Star Wars pieces, but nothing terribly extensive.)
After that though, another friend referred me to Poser, which I used for figure reference. (I actually started out as a comic book penciller.) From there, I went headlong into 3d, and started using it to do comics, eventually switching to Daz Studio. Then I taught myself 3d Studio Max and After Effects, and worked in Hollywood for quite a few years on movies, TV, video-games... You name it. I also started doing a lot of pinups during that time, and after a few adult commissions, I platformed into 3dx. A long, meandering road, I know, but there it is.
Describe your creative process. What tools do you use, and what do you draw inspiration from?
My creative process is an unconventional one at best. Because of my workflow, I usually create and animate the characters in a studio environment first. Then I create and light the scene, and put the characters in last rather than the other way around. I don't know a ton about lighting, but I know enough to light the scene first. Once I have the characters in the scene, I tweak lighting, materials, models, etc. until it looks right, then render it out and do compositing, postwork, etc.
Now comes the unconventional explanation. I create my characters in Daz Studio, but then I export them into 3d Studio Max as soon as possible. There's just a lot more you can achieve in Max as far as lighting, custom modeling, and rendering is concerned. I'm still using Daz to animate, but it's terrible, and their 'bridge' is entirely broken, so that's no help. (I use Alembic and obj exports instead.) It is a long, involved process, but in the end, I have much more freedom to create with it, and I feel that it gives me a better final result, especially rendering with Vray. Finally, I do post-work in After Effects for animation, or Photoshop for still images.
My inspiration comes from everything I've drawn from over the years. If I see something I like or that strikes me, I sort of add it to my 'palette' so I can draw from it all. Then, when the time comes, I combine it with everything I've learned into everything I do: from penciling, to animation, framing, lighting, cinematography, etc. It all goes into it. (Including Disney's "Legend of Sleepy Hollow", apparently. =p) I also try to put the camera in places you can only go in 3d. I do watch and use porn for reference, but I'm also drawing the look/feel from more 'glamorous' type fare. So my stuff tends to be more dramatic and low-key lighting rather than the high-key lighting you see in porn.
It sounds like you’ve had quite a variety of experiences. Are there any takeaways from comic penciling or working in Hollywood that you feel were particularly valuable?
Oh, absolutely. Comic book penciling enhanced my ability to tell a story through sequential art, block images, and use dynamic poses and imagery. Hollywood taught me the importance of everything from storyboarding to editing, including lighting, cinematography, and postwork. All of these things go into everything I do.
You’ve mentioned Legend of Sleepy Hollow a few times. Any potential influence from Reanimator or the Monster Girl Encyclopedia version of the Dullahan?
I haven't had a chance to check out Monster Girl Encyclopedia yet, but I have heard of it, and I'm very interested in the format. "Re-Animator" the movie is okay, but I much prefer the story it's based on, "Herbert West - ReAnimator". I love H. P. Lovecraft. That, to me, is true horror. Where the fear comes from something so unfathomable, that just witnessing it will drive you insane.
Having worked in so many creative industries, do you have any advice for artists and writers; generally, and specific to 3DX?
Oh, I don't know. I'm usually the one asking for advice, not giving it. In general, I'd just say what they probably already know: Do it because you love it, or else don't do it at all. You've got to love what you do, and it's got to be the kind of thing that you'd do whether you were being paid to or not. And continue adding to your 'palette' by exposing yourself to everything you possibly can. You can find inspiration in the most unlikely of places. Find what appeals to you, then surround yourself in it.
Specifically to 3dx, I'd say to keep moving toward what you want to do. We work in a very difficult field where we deal on a daily basis with things like computing restrictions, uncanny valleys, and the general lack of proper instruction. And none of that's to mention the general difficulties we all face as artists. Whatever you're trying to do, there's someone else out there that's tried to do the same thing, and most likely some who have succeeded at it. Take breaks away from full projects to refine your ability by testing things out and gathering more information about what you're doing. Don't be afraid to ask!
And to absolutely everyone, I'd just say: Remember to sharpen your axe. (It's a bit much to get into here, so if anyone doesn't know what that means, Google is your friend.)
Do you listen to music or watch something in the background while you create? If so, what do you enjoy most?
I always have music going on in the background while I work. I used to watch stuff, but it got to the point that it was too distracting. =p
I just switched over to Xmas music, but usually my playlist is so eclectic, it will literally go from Phantom of the Opera to Five Finger Death Punch to Disney to Weird Al Yankovich. Aside from that though, I find the things that help most are trance, or Amethystium, Magna Canta, and Enigma. Things like that. But right now, Christmas-related, it's TSO, Mannheim Steamroller, Nox Arcana's Winter's Knight, and Midnight Syndicate's Christmas: A Ghostly Gathering.
What is your favorite fantasy that you can only show through your art?
Oh, gosh. I'm kinda boring. I'd just say some of the stuff like facials with lots of cum, or mouths bursting with it. :blush: Like my "Wet and Messy" piece:
Other than that, I just like being able to show the types of things you don't really see in 'real life'. Elves and cyberpunk and things like that.
Anything else you would like to say to your fans?
Weird. I guess I've never considered them as 'fans' so much as I just think of them as people who look at my stuff.
I'd just say that if they do like my stuff, I'm only posting on here about once per week right now. On my Patreon, I post almost every day. Also, you can get all of my animations and comics on there as well. I have a lot of really cool stuff coming up, so be sure and check it out!
And of course, as always, thank you so much for looking!
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