Neil Blevins

Born: January 17th 1976, in Pointe Claire, Quebec, Canada
Education: Pure & Applied Science (2 years), Computer Science (1 year), BFA in Design Art (3 years)
Job History: Digital Artist at Pixar 2002 - present (Incredibles, Cars, Wall-e, Up, Brave, The Good Dinosaur), Animator at Blur Studio 1999 - 2002 (Scifi Chain Reaction, Soulkeeper, Ground Control, Fellowship Of The Ring Cinematics, Out Of Time)

Neil Likes: Monsters, Scifi and Fantasy Movies, Death Metal, Quake 3, Playing Guitar and Drums, Drawing & Painting, Museums, Howard Stern, Swimming and Hiking
Claims To Fame: The Blevins Sauce (hmmm), able to recite every single Simpson's and Southpark episode in their entirety, former owner of the Van of DeathTM
Most Embarrassing Moment: The day my pee ended up in the soup at a ski camp

Favorite Music: Devin Townsend, Strapping Young Lad, Meshuggah, Fear Factory, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, Dream Theater, Suffocation, Origin, Nasum, Nile, Periphery, The Faceless
Favorite TV: Babylon 5, The Simpsons, 60 Minutes, SouthPark, Whose Line Is It Anyways? Goldorak, The Transformers, Tranzor-Z, Samurai Jack
Favorite Movies: Alien(s), The Crow, Drunken Master 2, Fight Club, Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, Predator, Transformers The Movie, The Matrix, Ninja Scroll, Robocop, Starship Troopers, Star Wars
Favorite Games: Quake 3, Halo, Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat, Final Fight, Aliens, E-Swat, TMNT, Strider, Space Gun, Ikaruga

Home Computer: Intel i7-6700K 4.0 GHz Quad-core, 64 Gigs of RAM, nVidia Geforce GTX 1070 8GB
Main Home Graphics Software: 3DStudio MAX, Mudbox, Vray, Darktree, Filterforge, Photoshop, Magic Bullet PhotoLooks, ACDSee
Areas Of Expertise: Subdiv Modeling / Sculpting / Model Assembly, Shading / Texturing, Concept Art / Visual Development, Digimatte
Industries: Feature Film Animation, Feature Film VFX, Videogame Cinematics

If you'd like to email me, please send mail to...

Updated: Oct 25th 2016

1) Who are you?
I'm an artist who specializes in scifi and fantasy artwork. As well as professional work, I do lots of personal art when I find the time. I also wrote a bunch of Scripts for 3dsmax and Maya. And like Teaching Art and Computer Graphics. I also run a metal webzine called Soul Killer, where I review new metal and have a news section. For my biography, go here.

2) Where have you worked?
I am currently a Technical Director at Pixar in Emeryville California, I previously worked for Blur Studio in Venice California.

3) What are your professional areas of expertise?
I mainly focus on Subdiv Modeling / Sculpting / Model Assembly, Shading / Texturing, Concept Art / Visual Development and Digimatte. As far as industries go, I have done Feature Film Animation, Feature Film VFX and Videogame Cinematics.

4) What software and computer do you use?
My main piece of 3d software for my personal work is 3DStudio MAX by Autodesk, I also use Adobe Photoshop to paint textures and do compositing, Vray for rendering, Mudbox for sculpting, FilterForge and Darktree for Pattern Generation, Magic Bullet PhotoLooks for compositing, and ACDsee for image viewing. At work I mostly use Maya by Autodesk and Pixar's prman for rendering / material creation.

  • pre 1998 was done on a P100 with 64megs of RAM.
  • 1998 - 2001 on a PII333 with 128 megs of RAM.
  • 2001 - 2005 on an AMD 1800 with a Gig of RAM.
  • 2005 - 2008 on a Dual Opteron 248 with 2 Gigs of RAM, nVidia Geforce 6800 Ultra Extreme 256MB.
  • 2008 - 2011 on an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450, 8 Gigs of RAM, nVidia Geforce GTX 280 1GB.
  • 2011 - 2016 on an Intel i7-950 3.06Ghz Quad-core, 24 Gigs of RAM, nVidia Geforce GTX 770 2GB
  • 2016 - now on an Intel i7-6700K 4.0 GHz Quad-core, 64 Gigs of RAM, nVidia Geforce GTX 1070 8GB

5) What graphics card would you recommend? What computer should I buy?
I really don't know much about hardware, that is one area of computers that really doesn't interest me, I ask friends what they recommend and I buy it, beyond that I don't know much I'm afraid.

6) What school should I go to to learn 3d? / How did you learn 3d?
I'm not well aquatinted with graphics related schools, I learned digital art at home on my own, doing tutorials, then making image after image, working on technique and content for over 10 years. I personally believe that learning how to be an artist, drawing, painting, color theory, anatomy, composition, these are the things to learn, and then apply that knowledge to any medium you choose. So maybe going to an art school is a better idea, or at least go to a computer graphics related school that has a strong foundation of general art skills. Don't go to a school that only teaches you which buttons to press. Without a good grasp of basic artistic skills, no matter how skilled you are with the buttons, you'll probably have a hard time. So focus on good art fundamentals.

7) Can you help me with an advanced technique in max? Where can I learn more about max?
General question about techniques in max should be asked at the The Area, an Autodesk support forum, lots of professionals there ready to answer questions. More general 3d questions can be asked at another good forum, CGTalk. I've had several people ask me questions like "How do I animate a completely believable human?" Well, if you look at my site, I have never modeled a human, and I really don't do a lot of animating (I much prefer modeling, texturing and lighting), so those are the kinds of questions I'm really not qualified to answer, and why I recommend these forums. But if you have a question that's specific to me, like how I achieved a specific effect in a particular piece, please email me.

8) Where can I get cracked versions of software? Can you help me use my cracked piece of software?
I buy all of the software I use. If you choose to illegally use the software instead of buying it, that's your decision, I am not going to play police, however, I can't help you pirate stuff. The people who wriite this software need to pay their rent, and I will support them in that cause.

9) Do you use instant messaging?
Afraid not, I only have limited time during the day and so have chosen not to use instant messaging software.

10) Why didn't you answer my email immediately?
I promise I will answer all email as promptly as I can, but due to high volumes, I cannot answer everything instantly, so I ask you to be patient.

11) The images on your website are small, why don't you release larger ones?
I used to release larger images in the past, until some nasty people printed those images and started selling them without my permission and without any credit given to me as the original artist. I have also had my artwork appear mysteriously in magazines and on cd covers without my consent, so now I only release smaller images so they don't look good when printed.

12) Can you send me the max file for your artwork?
Giving someone one of my original max files means I no longer have control over it's use, distribution, and it's the only concrete proof of ownership. So I'm afraid the answer is no. However, I have been know to give materials and pieces of max files away in the CG Education section. And I'm willing to answer specific questions via email.

13) Can I use a piece of artwork that already exists on your website for our band's album cover? Can you make me some free artwork?
Sorry, but no. The ability to make artwork is a skill that should be valued, just like any other skill. And hard work and time devoted to making artwork for someone else's project should be rewarded with some sort of monetary compensation. I'd be happy to discuss my rates if you have a small project that needs some art, but I don't do freebees, and I recommend the same for any other artist.

14) Can I include some of your images on my online art gallery?
Sure, I'd appreciate it! All I ask is my name is with them, a link to my site, and send me some email when they're online so I can make sure they're represented properly. Thanks.

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