What distinguishes Payne's digital work from most others are the very large print resolutions-creating a piece that is 10,800 pixels wide is not unusual for him. "It's a monumental task. I'm rendering detail far beyond film resolution, which makes it difficult to manipulate the geometry and, ultimately, the final render," he says. "And with the printed medium, you can't motion-blur your way out of problems like you can in film or broadcast."
To create his computer-generated fine art, Payne mainly uses NewTek's LightWave 5.5 for modeling, LightWave 7.0 for rendering, and Photoshop for hand-painting textures. After digitally painting on the final rendering, Payne hands the file to master printmakers at www.gicleeart. com, where the image is then printed on canvas. After overseeing the printing, Payne then oil paints details directly onto the final work.
Payne notes that he's been fortunate to have worked on some high-profile art-driven projects, which has enabled him to stay on the cutting edge of computer graphics. He's directed an interactive movie with more than 200 digital backdrops; worked with Disney "imagineers" on the Virtual Jungle Cruise VR ride; helped generate imagery for two 3D break-through digital cartoons, Max Steel and Starship Troopers; and created titles for all the major game platforms. Most recently, he composed original music for a special Stan Winston project, and is working at Tremor on The Unseen computer game for the Xbox. "It's the diversity of projects like those that helps pave the way for my fine art, making my paintings an artistic release rather than a technical wrestling match."
Additional information about Payne and his company, Fierce Studios, can be obtained at www.fiercestudios.com. -Karen Moltenbrey
Midnight Beloved: "When you're dealing with a 160,000-pixel-wide image, you have two concerns: Can my computer handle it? And, will I live to see the final image? To create a cultural phenomenon, you have to work two or three times harder than others to stand out. Great art should be obtainable by everyone but impossible to reproduce," says Payne.
Little Town: "I think of my paintings as Hollywood sets for some lost romantic film where the viewer is the lead character. It's a place you want to visit from time to time."
Colors of Venice: "Many traditional artists say, 'paint what you've experienced.' Well, I've never been to Venice, but I've researched it extensively on the Internet. That [process] added a level of creative interpretation, and I had to rely on my own creativity to take over."
Firefly Inn: "I wanted to return to believable fantasy, rather than photorealism, because as an artist, you have to go beyond what a modeling package can already do for you."