As a keen fan of films which movies have impressed you with regard to the CG characters and why?
When I was a kid, I loved Jurassic Park, The Abyss and Terminator 2: Judgement Day but this was mainly because I couldn't guess how they did it. But in recent years the creatures in King Kong have really impressed me, particularly the ape animation which although being motion captured displays priceless facial emotions. The Pirates of the Caribbean series is another one for the diversity in the design of the zombie pirates and the sea-infested guys on the Dutchman. Transformers, LOTR, District9, Iron Man, Rango and the Harry Potter series have their great moments and also made me feel like a kid again wondering "jeez, how did they do it?"
Do you think that part of the beauty and appeal of CG is in wondering about how it is achieved, or do you think it has more to do with reproducing something that is completely imaginary?
CG can be looked at in different ways, but one thing is sure: it will always be just a toolbox for an artist. Once you know the tools, the technical aspect ends and the creative process starts. It's hard to create good CG work. Even if they are simulations, you must be very skilled to make them work. I feel that's the beauty and appeal of CG from a technical aspect; it will be more appreciated by those who know how it's created. But a random viewer is a better judge looking at any concept or idea; he's not distracted by the technical baggage.
Can you describe your work methods and approach to sculpting and do you ever create a low poly mesh in LightWave before going into ZBrush?
I don't draw with pencils or crayons anymore. I create the base concept in my head and search for a lot of references in art books and pictures on the web. I have a library of base meshes that I built in Lightwave in the past, full bodies and busts. But now I create and sculpt everything in Zbrush, since the feature shadowbox was introduced to Z4 I never leave the program especially with the new DynaMesh feature. I don't like to waste time during the creative sculpting process.