3DValley Featured 3D Artist of April 2007 – Eran Dinur. Eran is a self thought 3D artist with a passion for realistic landscape scenery and lighting. He mainly works with Vue infinite and 3D Studio Max to create his images. Beside landscape imagery his work also contains many other subjects. Eran’s career started as a successful musician for theater and film. Currently he is working as an independent 3D artist. Read the interview to get to know Eran and his work a bit better.
Christa: Can you tell us a bit about yourself: Who are you and what do you do in your daily life?
Eran: I live in Tel-Aviv with my wife and two children. I have worked as a musician most of my life, writing music for theater and film. 3D started as a hobby for me, something I did to take the stress out of the hectic theater work, but it gradually became a second profession, eventually taking up most of my time. Today I work as an independent 3D artist. I also write tutorials for magazines such as 3D World, and I am currently working on a book about 3D landscape art.
Christa: You had a very good career as composer for theater and film music and if I’m not mistaken you also won prices for your work. What made you ultimately decide to change your career to 3D?
Eran: Many people ask me this question. I think that the more I got appreciation as a theater composer, the more I felt I have to stand up to the expectations, and from project to project this became quite a heavy burden. 3D was something new for me, so I felt more freedom in a way, with less to carry on my back. Also, I think I simply wanted to give 3D a try… to get a taste of a new type of profession/art, and a new type of life. Besides, I did not leave music for good, just took some time off. I don’t think I can really get too far from it. It’s in my blood 🙂
Christa: Which software packages do you use for your artwork?
Eran: My main 3D application is Vue Infinite. I also use 3ds Max quite a lot, especially for modeling. I am not very good in painting, so I use Photoshop mostly for texture editing and some post work.
|Sundar Himal||Tien Shan|
Christa: You can’t use your software without the hardware, so what do you use?
Eran: I have a PC with an AMD 4200+ dual core and 2 GB RAM and a 19 inch CTX monitor that I really like.
Christa: I’ve read that you discovered 3D by accident and learned it on your own. How did you go about it?
Eran: I bought my first computer for music purposes. I downloaded some demo programs for fun, and one of them was TrueSpace (version 3 I think). I didn’t even know what 3D was all about, but I got hooked immediately. I felt like a kid again, with a completely new and exciting toy. I soon switched to learning 3ds Max by reading through every book I could find. I used to play keyboards in theater shows with an open 3D book in front of me, reading and playing at the same time.
|Tien Shan||Cerro Verde|
Christa: Can you tell us a bit of the way you work on your art.
Eran: If it’s a commissioned work, I know more or less what I need to achieve, so it’s easier for me to work in a linear fashion, starting out with a rough of the scene and adding detail. But when it comes to personal creations, I hardly ever work “by the book”. I may start with an idea or concept, but often end up with something completely different. Working with a landscape program like Vue means you have to loosen up control a bit and let the random factor take over, which for me is an exciting aspect. It’s almost like discovering new places behind every curve. So when I create an image, I try to “feel” that particular place: is it warm or cold? Inviting or menacing? Humid or dry? I might start with the lighting before even having a rough layout, or get one part of the scene fully ready and textured while another part is still empty. I usually create quite a number of versions, often going back to an earlier version after reaching a “dead end”.
Christa: I also read that you have traveled a lot. Have your travels been an inspiration for your landscape images?
Eran: I love mountains and rugged scenery, and I think it shows in my work. Many of my renders are influenced by places I have visited. Other images depict places I wish I could have been to. Although I never pretend to create “photo-realistic” images, I am deeply influenced by photography and real-world light.
Christa: Do you have a favorite piece of your own artwork and if so, why?
Eran: “Picnic for string quartet” is one of the first 3D images I have created. It is rather simple, and full of beginner’s mistakes, but it still makes me smile. And my wife and I used it for our wedding’s invitations 🙂
|Picnic for string quartet|
Christa: What is your goal as an artist?
Eran: I create 3D images because I like doing that, and sometimes because I have to. I don’t think I follow any persistent ideology or goal. I certainly don’t see myself as an innovator, and I’m not even sure “artist” is the right word for me. But I do try to be as good as I can, so maybe this can be considered a goal?
Christa: Besides 3D Valley, which other CG sites do you visit regularly?
Eran: I used to visit Renderosity a lot in the past. It’s got a very active Vue community, and I made some good friends there. Unfortunately I don’t go there too often now. I also visit a lot of other 3D galleries form time to time, but not on a regular basis.
Christa: Do you have any tips for the artists who admire your work?
Eran: Light. Work on the lighting. Look at photographs, look around you. Don’t show everything, don’t be afraid of darkness, take your time, try to surprise yourself, and did I say work on the lighting?
Christa: In April when the interview will be published you will be in the process to relocate to Singapore and go work for Lucas film Animation. Congratulations! What will your new job at Lucas be and can you tell us a bit how it is for you and your family to move to Singapore.
Eran: I was offered a job as a digital artist within the digital artist group at Lucas Film Animation Singapore. For me, it’s an exciting new opportunity to develop and learn. It’s not easy to relocate with two small children, but my wife and I try to look at it as an adventure. Thrilling and intimidating at the same time.
Christa: Do you know and can you tell us a bit about the first project you will be working on for Lucas?
Eran: I really know very little right now, I guess I need to wait until I get there.
|The feast||Cerro Arenal|
Christa: Which areas of the 3D creating process do you enjoy the most?
Eran: Whether I’m looking at 3D images or doing my own, it’s always lighting that grabs my attention. There is nothing I enjoy more in 3D than working on the light and atmosphere.
Christa: Is there something you can’t work without?
Eran: Being a musician, there’s absolutely no way I can work while listening to music at the same time. Coffee? Yes, definitely!
Christa: What do you do when you are not working or creating something?
Eran: We have a 3 year old boy and a 4 months old baby girl. This pretty much answers the question I guess. Still, if I do find a bit of spare time now and then, I like traveling, reading about distant places (preferably with some mountains), and discovering weird websites with lots of useless information such as peakware.com (a comprehensive info center about all the peaks in the world, including the highest point in the Netherlands!), or contrabass.com (a site about unusual low-range musical instruments such as the Octobass flute or Heckelphone).
Christa: Thanks for your time and the interview Eran!