For professional artist Ryan Drue of San Jose, California, the most challenging aspect of working in the digital realm is keeping pace with his ideas. “Every day I want to create something new, and I often find I don’t have time to finish projects,” he says. “Rendering is the one thing that holds me back. Sometimes I find myself waiting days for a single frame, and that drives me crazy!”
Nevertheless, Drue works mostly in CG, while also dabbling in digital photography, which has taught him how to better frame shots and use color while working in CG. “You really can create anything you want,” he says about CGI. “If I want to be an architect, I can. If I want to be a sculptor, I can. If I want to be a glassblower, all I need to do is fire up my computer.”
Exposed to CGI and video editing while in high school, Drue honed his newfound skills first at a computer arts school and then professionally. “I can’t even draw a good-looking stick figure, which is funny, because my mother is a very gifted traditional artist. But, for some reason, my artistic side never developed in a traditional medium.”
Yet, Drue’s talent is apparent in the 3D arena. When he is not creating digital art as a hobby, Drue is creating work for the film and video production company Fat Box, where he spends roughly 75 percent of his time working in 3D and the rest producing motion graphics. His personal projects, though, are usually the total opposite of what he does at work: “If I am modeling at work, I try to better my texturing and lighting skills at home,” he says.
Unlike some artists, Drue’s work does not fall into a particular genre. “I strive for a sense of photorealism in my work, no matter the subject,” he says. For all the work appearing here, Drue used Modo for the 3D and Photoshop for the post. Other times, he uses LightWave, Maya, and After Effects, along with a Wacom tablet. —Karen Moltenbrey