Willow Danaan:
digital artistry

After painfully sitting through the new movie "Mission to Mars" recently, I felt there's a need to show off some digital artists on this website and what a way to start by introducing you to Willow Danaan. She's the first digital artist we've featured. You've got to visit both the Poser Forum and Willow's Personal Website, each really cool places.W Danaan...3d Art and beyond

Willow DaNaan isn't much on small talk.  She speaks frankly and has no patience for the mundane.  Fantasy is her canvas, and upon it she paints various shades of reality drenched in personal symbolism that may or may not be readily apparent.  Being her most frequent collaborator I know well how much symbolism she likes to put into her work.

Willow works in the virtual world of 3D.  A tool, which allows for as much power as a pencil and colour of oils combined with sculpture and photography.  While some may frown at this being called a "Fine Art," it is, in fact, a combination of fine arts.  It took a bit of doing to get her to talk about how she works...

"When I start out," Willow is thoughtful.  "It's usually based on spontaneous ideas, sometimes from vivid dreams I have, sometimes from interpretations of an event, the majority of all my work comes from an emotion which I change into something more fantastical in imagery.  Everything I do is from my imagination and my feelings.

"When I create a piece I sketch or write an idea then plan the stages for the digital side.  I always have a title or theme when I have get an idea so I have to decide which programs I need, what kind of textures before I start working on the computer, I know how I plan to do it.

"I use special 3d character design program to create the characters I want in the scene.  Depending on what's in this scene, I may use 2 to 4 programs to put it all together from 3d to post render.  After I have the characters, I work on the textures (colour maps applied to the models) in a 2d program like Painter or PhotoShop.  Often I'll have to create or adapt models for props and sets in a modelling package and create textures for those also.  I put it all together in the 3d character program to render.  After render, I open image editor to add effects, touchups and special effects.  It does get involved.

"In some ways 3D is more comfortable for me than traditional techniques. I enjoy it because the possibilities are endless. Sometimes I'll expand on what you've already created.  For instance, some images that I was pleased with in the past no longer show the skills I am still learning or have realistic meaning to me.  What I'll do a lot of is call up old 3D files and redo them.  The original "while He Sleeps" was very different then the new.  It's as if the artwork is never finished.  It has life in my mind.  I generally have a deep attachment to the idea behind the image so as my skills expand, I can perfect or make them have even more meaning."

Willow DaNaan's work also includes having founded of the Poser Forum Online in July of 1998, a thriving community of 3D artists from around the world.

Willow Danaan
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