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
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
"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's Home Page