Sometimes, it’s not the experience one has, it’s the ability one has to tell a story with the detail and composition of a single image that shows their talent. Andy Jones excels at this and his characters, as it happens, go beyond simply telling a story. They bring you into the scene, rough you up a little bit and let you in on a few secrets. We caught up with Andy to learn more about how he got started, where he’s going and how he has used KeyShot along the way, plus we get a good dose of wisdom on being a 3D artist.
Modeling software used: ZBrush / Cinema4D
“It was a long, strange road. I went to school for sculpture and was generally kept away from everything digital throughout my education. I worked under some sculptors and really lost my taste for the whole thing, seeing how hard it was to make it in that industry. I pretty much gave up and started ski bumming and waiting tables. One day I found a really crappy digital camera that one of my tables had left behind. I took it home (after some time) and started just shooting around. I loved it and pursued photography. I got an assistant job and that eventually led to retouching, as I had always been good with computers. Once I started working in Photoshop, my artistic instincts began to stir. I started to get into digital painting. From there it was just a matter of time until I stumbled upon 3D modeling packages. I remember the first time I opened ZBrush thinking, “Ohhhhh, this is what I was meant for.” With one mouse click all of the countless hours of studying and sculpting had suddenly gone from wasted to relevant. From that moment, in a dusty attic, there was no looking back.”
What are some highlights throughout your career?
“Well I’m still pretty new to this whole thing, I’ve been working with 3D for about two years now. I got a great job at Mullen Advertising in Boston as a Senior Creative Retoucher. I’ve been in 3D Artist Magazine, and of course this interview.”
What would you say is unique about your approach to a project?
“I like to let projects cultivate themselves in terms of mood and feel. Obviously, I start with an idea, as I work, features appear and I try let that guide the look. I really think it’s the small things that make it fun for the viewer and helps keeps your creative momentum.”
What is your primary 3d modeling software?
“ZBrush and Cinema4D. Both companies like yourselves have invested a lot of time and effort to make their software geared for the artist’s mind.”
Where in the process do you use KeyShot?
“I have been using KeyShot much earlier in the process lately. With all the new connectivity that is going on it is great to dip in and see how things are looking and what textures are coming though. Sometimes if I’m stuck on a project I’ll bring it into KeyShot and get some more motivation going. Sit back, sip a beer and watch the model render.”
What makes KeyShot an important tool to have?
“KeyShot is like having a Hasselblad in your laptop. If you ever struggled with rendering, KeyShot takes that all away for you. 3D artists face a rare dilemma of having to switch between the left and right side of the brain. In this industry there are lots of different routes to get to a great render, and many of the more difficult ones seem to offer nothing more than bragging rights. I have always believed that the less time you spend nudging numbers, the more brain power you will have to devote to being creative.”
What is one piece of advice you would pass along to someone interested in doing what you do?
“Think about what you have to say as an artist. There are a staggering amount of people out there that are better than you are, no matter what you do. Don’t let that discourage you, just think long and hard about what is going to make your work special. You know what you’re good at and what you love to see, so feed it and be true to yourself. Don’t play it safe, be daring and soon people will notice.”