3D-Worxx Interview – May 7th 2000

Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hi, I'm Neil Blevins, and I am an artist who makes scary monsters and alien landscapes all day long. Although my work is primarily digital, I also use traditional media such as paints and pencils to make my creations.

Have you studied traditional arts?
Yes, I've been drawing and painting since I was like 4 years old. I went to a class once a week from the age of 6 where I got to do lots of traditional arts, but really only studied art in school at the university level, getting my degree in design arts.

How long are you working with 3d software and how did you start?
I started using 3d software close to 6 years ago, I started when I got a book that had a free copy of POV-Ray, and have been hooked ever since. I find 3d the best medium for me to get across my visions to the viewer, and to make them as realistic as possible.

You seem to have very dark visions ;-) Where do you get your inspiration for your pictures?
My own twisted, tormented soul :) Seriously, as well as listening to angry music, and enjoying other artists who share my view of the world, I just see these things in my head, and try and get them down on paper or the computer screen.

Do you use your skills for private reasons or as a professional?
Both. I do private artwork for myself, and I also use my skills daily on films, commercials and videogames at Blur studio in Venice California.

What is your main work at Blur studio? Are you more into modeling, animating or are you an allrounder?
At blur, everyone's an allrounder, very few people specialize. So I've been doing a lot of animating, although I don't consider my animation skills to be as strong as my modeling, texturing, lighting skills. But it's cool, this way, I'm not part of an assembly line, I can get a shot done from start to finish, and that gives me (and everyone else) a real sense of pride, as well as a certain degree of artistic control that's impossible when you're just a small part of the machine.

Which software do you like best?
3dstudio max, Photoshop and digital fusion.

What kind of hardware do you use?
At home, I have a PII333 with 128 megs of RAM. AT work, a P3 555 with a gig of RAM.

What are your current projects?
I'm currently working on hatred 4, the 4th in a series of still images I've been doing over the years. And as for blur, I am never allowed to divulge what I'm currently working on because clients don't like us talking about the work we do for them until it's released.

Can you tell us something about past projects? What was your biggest project and what was your favorite?
Biggest project? Not sure how to decide what's "big", and what's not. My biggest project I guess was my short animation walkabout that took me like 8 months to put together. And as for my favorite, an artists favorite work is always the one he/she's going to do next :) But my alltime favs would have to include my images "Factory" "Hatred 3" "Fallen Angel, "From Darkness To Light" and Hatred 4 that I'm working on now is looking pretty cool.

Do you have a favorite picture, that you have created? How much time does it take you to finish a picture?
Most pictures take me like a week to complete, maybe 10-30 hours, depending on the complexity level.

Do you have some plans for the future concerning 3d?
Continue doing what I'm doing. At some point I'd like to live off my art in the form of books, posters, etc. It's time for digital art and 3d art to be an actual art, which can only happen by educating the public that what we do is just as important as someone who holds a paintbrush or a pencil.

Is there any final hint, you could give our readers?
If your an artist like me, love what you're doing. And never stop learning, growing and practicing. Being an artist isn't a job, it's a way of life.