Portfolio - Ryan Drue
Issue: Volume: 30 Issue: 12 (Dec. 2007)

Portfolio - Ryan Drue

Tubes Marins Métalliques For this image, which was inspired by sea life and glassblowing,
Drue started with the color scheme, and the piece evolved from that point.

Future Botany Of this piece, Drue says, “I just woke up one morning and this image was on my mind.
A few hours later, this is what I came up with. Normally, I obsess over an idea before I ever start, so this
image was a nice change for me.”

Openness  For this image, the artist focused on the artistry rather than the technical process.

Lady Fingers This piece was an exploration of form and color.
Just Chill’n This image marks the first time Drue spent a good deal of time sculpting and painting on a 3D mesh.

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


A Jar Full of Modo Here is an example of the artist trying to create a photorealistic image in 3D,
which he enjoys doing, even if the object doesn’t exist in reality.
Le Corbusier Chaise Lounge The artist recalls this about the piece: “When I first saw this chair,
I knew I had to model it. The flowing lines and simplicity really inspired me.”

Random Room This was the result of Drue’s first attempt at creating an interior shot in 3D.
He modeled and textured everything in Modo in roughly a week’s time.