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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


The dark rider - This concept I did for myself for a personal project. I also used this as an opportunity to try doing hard surface modeling in ZBrush

You have worked on some amazing projects; do you have any particular favorites?

I've been really fortunate over the years to work on a lot of different films. The most fun I have, I think, is on the comic book movies. I spent a lot of time as a child reading comics. Being able to re-imagine these characters and design them for films is an incredible challenge.

Clash of the Titans will always stand out as a big moment for me. It was the first big budget film I worked on where I could really see my influence in creatures. I learned a lot on that project and got a lead design credit.


Female alien - I did this image for my creature design class at Gnomon School of Visual Effects

You've worked on so many awesome fantasy, adventure and horror films; have you always been a film buff or has it come as part of your career?

I've always loved films. When I was a kid, my mom actually started me on all of the Universal horror films – all the classic stuff with Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and Vincent Price. Films are definitely my number one passion. There's just something so amazing about them and I get more fulfillment working on films than almost anything else. I don't know if I would necessarily call myself a film buff, but a film fan definitely. Oddly enough, I find that the older I get the less picky I've become. After working in this industry for so long, it's actually very hard for me to trash films, since I know how much hard work and sleepless nights goes into making these things.


MetamorFx creature - This is a piece I did for my friend Constantine Sekiris's book MetamorFx


MetamorFx creature orthographic - This is the orthographic view of the model

I loved your concept for Leatherface for Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D and the internet has been abuzz with people who wish it had been used. Are you able to explain some of the decisions as to why the design changed?

It was an absolute honor to take a stab at Leatherface. When I'm brought in on a project, I'm not usually the only artist on shows like that. I didn't know that my designs had gotten such a response online. As a concept artist your job is really to help the studio resolve the character. Every artist contributes so that the character can be refined all the way through the process. A lot of the work that I do can influence the final product. They're only a handful of designs that I've done that really look exactly as I intended them to look on screen. It's the decision of the director and the studios that really determine what a character or creature looks like in a film. My job is to simply give them options.


Falling Skies crawlers concept - This is a design that I did for Falling Skies. It's one of many concepts. Though this one wasn't approved it's still one of my favorites

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