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Creating creature concepts for film

By 3dtotal staff

Web: http://jeradsmarantz.blogspot.com (will open in new window)

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Date Added: 15th October 2013


Final Bloody Face design for American Horror Story season 2 - This is the design that I did with Christian Tinsley for the serial killer in Asylum, season 2

All throughout high school and college I worked on very small projects, doing a few designs here and there, sculpting and drawing. I realized that if I wanted to focus on being a designer, I had to work on my drawing, painting and illustration.

I enrolled in Pasadena Art Center right after high school. The school is an incredible place for design, but at the time they had just started to develop their entertainment department. You could only minor in entertainment design. Going through Art Center, I had only one goal in mind and I wanted to work towards developing a portfolio for studios like Stan Winston's' or Rick Baker's. I filled my portfolio with creature designs and sculptures. It was hard to do while still in college because there really weren't any classes to help me in those areas.

Finally, upon graduating from the Art Center, I set up an appointment over at Stan Winston's. Stan himself hired me on the spot and I started working for him. That's when my career really started to take off.


Wrath of the Titans Minotaur concept - This was a concept that I did for the film early on

How much, would you say, of what you know comes from formal education and how much is self-taught?

I learned a lot over the years from going to schools, working with talented artists and figuring out quite a bit on my own. The industry has changed so much since I graduated from school. Over the years I've had to completely change the way I work. When I first started working, I was strictly pencil and paper doing one sketch after the other. Nowadays, I spend a lot of time in Photoshop and in ZBrush.

"the most valuable education an artist can get, once he has a strong foundation, is on the job"

I think all that one can truly hope for when going through a structured curriculum is that they're able to get the foundation that they need so that, down the line, when the industry does change, it's simply a matter of learning a new tool and not a skill like drawing and painting. I wouldn't necessarily say that my education prepared me for what the industry is really like – the most valuable education an artist can get, once he has a strong foundation, is on the job.


Unused alien concept for Green Lantern - I did a lot of work on the Green Lantern film. I spent most of my time designing Hector Hammond and the Guardians. This was a concept that I did that didn't make it into the film

Last time we spoke, it was about your article in Digital Art Masters 8. What have you been up to since?

I've been bouncing around quite a bit since my last interview with you guys. I've worked on a lot of fun movies and for a few other studios. I love keeping busy.

I've worked on several new film projects like Amazing Spiderman 2, Thor 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Metallica Through the Never. They are all great projects and I can't wait to see how they turn out.

I also had a lot of fun on Guardians of the Galaxy over at Marvel Studios. I was there for several months with some of the most talented artist I have ever had the pleasure of working with. That was a great project to be a part of and hopefully I will get a chance to work with them all again soon.

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