COMPUTER ARTS MAGAZINE, WINTER 2002
FLYING SOLO PART 2: SETTING UP IN 3D
by Michael Burns
Carl McCoy, who set up as Sheerfaith in 1986 to provide his band Fields of the Nephilim with cover artwork and marketing materials, echoes this sentiment. "The downsides are really finding the work as a sole proprietor and salesman," says McCoy. "Most of my work comes through recommendation or approvals through agencies." This has obviously been a fortuitous route: Sheerfaith does a consider post work for corporate advertising, multimedia presentations, Web graphics, interactive games and crystal trophies, as well as nurturing the design side of McCoy's music career.
Each job is likely to take you longer than you think, too -- which is where previous experience in the field pays dividends. "It varies according to each project," says Carl McCoy. "From a simple modelling job, which can take just a few hours, through to an animated sequence, which could take several months to complete. The main obstacle when undertaking a job is, of course, rendering time. It seems to take forever. It's just a shame we can't yet achieve this in real time."
"Concentrate on the best aspects of what you do," advises Carl McCoy. "For example, if you're into modelling, then stick to that. Become known for individual skills, especially if you work alone. You can obviously achieve results quicker and more efficiently, whereas if you take on something like a full 3D animation, then you could be occupied forever. You've got to foresee an end result, and work towards a strict deadline."
[Photo caption]: A 3D self portrait of Carl McCoy in his guise as the darkman character familiar to fans of his band Fields of the Nephilim, now known simply as The Nephilim. It was created for an on-going animation project connected with the band's activities.
[Sidebar, "Your Set-Up: Hardware"]: Not everyone has gone down the PC route, as Sheerfaith's Carl McCoy reveals: "The most important items for a basic essential kit are powerful workstations, as well as good digital cameras. Personally, I use Macs for their reliability and versatility. But then nothing could be done without a sense of originality and creativity."
[Sidebar, "Your Set-Up: Software"]: Carl McCoy of Sheerfaith has been using Lightware 3D since it first appeared on the Mac platform, as well as Photoshop for its industry-standard graphics capabilities. "I also use Media 100 sofrware for its real-time editing capabilities, necessary for assembling footage animations and so on, as well as After Effects for its post-production and pre-production cababilities," he says.