Saturday, 17 November 2007

Current WIP's

There are two digital sculpts I’m working on at the moment, the first of Ming the Merciless from flash Gordon, is another one of my ‘famous movie character redesigns’. Whereas the 2nd is a project trying to do a digital replica of Davros from the TV series Doctor Who. The Ming one I’m trying to make a little less ‘cartoon evil villain’ looking and more realistic for a planetary dictator. He’s without facial hair at the moment and I’m just trying to get the forms lifelike before I move onto any of the heavy detailing stuff. Now as I’m going to be giving it the old black and white film look of the original movie serial I don’t have to go too mad, as a lot of details will get washed out.

It is of course a great way to make sure that your main forms are correct as you have no uber wrinkles to help ‘sell it’ as realistic. But by far the more difficult of the two is the one of Davros.

The reason for this is many fold, part of it being due to there being about 4 different designs for him that I’m trying to fit together into a archetypal ‘Davros’, and partly due to having to replicate a bad 70’s latex mask. Getting that bad makeup job looking right is actually proving to be a bit of a challenge, as to be honest I’m not used to having to make something look ropey on purpose lol.

Will either of them make it to final? Well that really depends on how much work I have to do really. Paid work always comes before personal projects for me, so as I’m rather busy they may get mothballed if time is tight. But fingers crossed I’ll manage to get both done.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

The escapology years (for those that requested more info)

OK, I’ve had a few requests of late to expand somewhat on my ‘back history’ as an escape artist and with people wanting details of the world record I still hold after all this time. It’s not something I was going to go into details about as it has nothing to do with 3d really, but if it fulfils people’s curiosity then it’s worth it.

I was lucky enough up till about 1993 to travel the world as a professional escape artist, it’s something that I enjoyed and made me a shed load of money at the time. I was lucky enough to appear on TV, radio and in national newspapers on a regular basis for some time until a health problem meant I had to give it up. This wasn’t a decision that I took lightly. I started as a professional escapologist aged 13and no it wasn’t a ‘family thing’ it was just something that as a child I’d always wanted to be.

In fact my career as a professional writer started aged about 16 as a main feature writer for a trade magazine at the time. I managed to somehow receive a whole host of awards and was the only person before or since to hold the ‘Escape master’ award, the ‘Masters Master’ Award and be given title goodwill ambassador.

In my time there weren’t a whole lot of things I didn’t get out of in the name of escapology lol. (You name it, and I’ve probably done it at some point.) The world record I hold is for getting out of a regulation mailbag locked tied and sealed and the record stands unbroken for more than a decade and a half at 3.37 seconds. It involved escaping from wrist restraints and the mailbag in that time and leaving everything untouched and still sealed.

The mailbag was examined afterwards to make sure no nefarious stuff had gone on by the representative of the Guinness book of records and professional bodies. So far it’s been tried to be broken on at least 5 occasions I know of, and no one has beaten it. Guinness eventually removed all escapology records from the book as they preferred things that were more ‘competitive’ and could be broken more easily.

I was forced to give this up at a time when things were going amazingly well due to a serious health issue that meant I would have put my life in danger should I do it again. (Well no more than usual anyway!) So there you have it, that’s the broad outline of what I did an achieved in my time before I was forced to quit. It’s something I’m immensely proud of and still amazed how much I achieved at such a relatively young age. There are many things I’ve missed out, b simply because if I listed everything I did no doubt someone would have a go accusing me of making stuff up. But I can assure you that next time I track some of the articles, new clippings and TV spots down I’ll put them to one side for those who crave proof. LOL

I’m also lucky that these were the days before the internet as a mainstream phenomenon, so the only pictures of me as an escape artist online are those I put there luckily. Otherwise it could have got embarrassing lol. I still pick up the handcuffs etc from time to time when I’m in the house on my own to make sure I’ve still got the ‘skillz’ lol... something’s don’t leave you and are like riding a bike. So that’s one of the many things I did before I hit the world of 3d. In fact without it I’d probably not write professionally now, and had I not been forced to leave it behind no doubt I would never have begun in 3D. I hope that’s enough information for those that wanted it.

I know some will say I’m only putting this here as some sort of big headed ego trip, but to those people I say this...firstly this is put here to fulfil a promise I made to a few people over the last year, and in particularly ‘Aminuts’ from SubD and Zbrush central. Secondly I am proud of what I achieved (even if my health problem meant leaving the field I loved and costing me every penny I ever made in specialist bills.) I see no reason to hide what I’ve done or achieved when I was younger to behonest.

You could say I've had an 'interesting life', and you may well be right, although not always in a good way. Its not something I talk about often as it usualy solicits one of a handfull of reactions. Ranging from disbelief and a zillion questions to more postive and more negative ones. So as a rule I keep quiet about it.