1. #1
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    Default Featured Member: vimmy (Samuel P. Prack)


    It's interview time again! This time around we're speaking with Samuel Poirier Prack, who is probably one of the most philosophical members of ZBC. Certainly one of the most philosophical people for his age that I've ever encountered!

    Please tell us about your background.
    I was born on Earth in a small region of the world known as Quebec, and particularly in a region called the Saguenay where winters are cold and where the landscapes are buried in snow. Like all kids, I breathed, I cried, I laughed...


    You're 19, right. Are you still in school? What are you studying?
    Yes indeed I am 19 years old. Technically, I am still in university. I am studying philosophy, visual art and theology. Although the bulk of this development is at home: reading, writing and practicing meditation. The school is for me a context that I pay to have time to do what I love.

    How long have you been doing art? And how long have you been doing CG?
    Physically speaking I practiced art since I was a kid. But like many others, it is primarily in a deeper nature, intrinsically to energy that motivates us. This manifests more as an apprehension of reality, a way of perceiving the events in the world, a mystical intuition of movement. Art is comparable and I would almost say inseparable with the philosophy -- not the history of philosophy, which is perceptible and technical -- but as state of mind. Those merge (art and philosophy) to form what strikes me as a spiritual way of life. In this aspect I have done CG since 2004.


    What led you to become an artist?
    I do not know if the term artist is good. I mean, is it only practice or discipline and mixing poetry creation that makes a person an artist? Can a person who has read some books of philosophy can be said a philosopher?

    In fact, I understand the question, but to me pre-artist would be applicable to myself and many people in this field. I am not talking about the quality of works, but keep in mind that an artist is not simply the practice of physical discipline. This also applies to many other examples: like a person who sat in Zazen in silence while smiling slightly is not necessarily a mystic... The artist is the process of a ripe and deep psychological expression and conscience in harmony with what he expresses. In this voice many so-called "artists" are maybe not so artistic on the inside. And perhaps many people, like a wood sculptor hiding deep in the forest where he's unknown to all, have maybe a soul that's intensely artistic and vibrant. No doubt many fishermen, tree planters, shepherds are probably much more philosophical on the inside that many so-called philosophers. So what led me become a pre-artist? In fact to be honest, I don’t know why. Maybe this is… who knows?


    At what point do you start using ZBrush in a project?
    This is always relative to the work. Sometimes it's from the beginning or after the basemesh. Other times it's a bit later. But ZBrush is used in most of my projects, simply because in my approach the sculpting is essential. When the model transfers slowly from a virtual look almost to organic and real... Finally, although this remains limited on a screen's small dots of color, ZBrush gives human warmth to the model.

    What is your main reason for using ZBrush?
    As previously stated in the last question, the first asset of sculpting with ZBrush is that it gives a soul to the model. Not that the traditionnal polygonal modeling cannot do so, but ZBrush is a simple and fast way to a great result. The following is without doubt due to the thoroughness of the details we can add in an interface that can work perfectly with millions of millions of polygones... well a lot.


    Several of your pieces look almost like they're sculpted from clay. Are you trained as a traditional sculptor? Is that look deliberate, or a happy accident?
    I simply think that this configuration is sober, neutral and still showing the details of a sculpture. Of course a render with textures, SSS and others stuff is highly desirable. But clays still give a nice look when the intention is not a project but just a simple modeling practice.

    Another Cosmic Trip

    Much of your work is very unusual. Could you share your inspiration for pieces like "Another Cosmic Trip" and "Atman"?

    As with any pre-artist the inspiration comes from around me, the context in which I am sensitive. That could summarize this in a spirituo-cosmic universe, mixing some aspect of the esoteric and theology. My point is about the same for some time, expressing in different forms the Being, when the multiple returns to the One. I’m orbiting around this: Being, the One; the name doesn’t matter at all. Some are particularly inspired by dreams, lucide dreams, astral projection, and others come from personal ideas... philosophical or religious. So to speak about those mentioned in the question, inevitably the first reference, at least for the title, because the image is rather fast and about the phenomenon of out body experimentation, an expansion of consciousness. As for the second, "Atman", it obviously refers to the Hindu although the image could be related to the spirit of the mystic East. It would be more difficult to link it visually to the three major monotheistic religions, although the center is the same, and appears to me as a panentheism smell.

    "Atman" is actually a pretty complicated piece in its own right, with more being done in 3D than is at first apparent. Could you talk about its creation and some of your techniques to get that very unique look?
    My intention was rather experimental for this work, considering that the theme of this project was a little in contrast with the general work in the CG field. The central characters as well as other bodies have been sculpt and placed in ZBrush. Thereafter, the render was made in Maya, using the textures that I made in ZBrush. The others bodies (etheric, causal, astral…) are a combination of rigid models and particles. The combine was all done in Photoshop.


    How about "Chip"? How did he come about? What were the main steps in his creation?
    This project was a partnership for a book, but rather converged towards a personal one. At least I tried, since I had already started toward another style. This model was done on ZBrush 2 and Maya (rendered in Modo). The major parts have been carved and combined in modo for a global view. All told, it involved between 100 and 200 parts, at least if my memory is good. The render was made in several passes and combined in Photoshop, for the simple reason that there were in total 20 to 25 million polygons. Of course I could have used bump maps. But finally we learn from our mistakes or rather strange techniques.


    How long did "Chip" take you? How about "Scuba"?
    Chip took life in my spare time during the summer of 2007, stretching around 1 month for a total of more than 70 hours. Scuba was done a bit faster over 5 days for a bit more than 30-40 hours.

    What are some of the ZBrush features that you can't live without? And why do you feel that way about them?
    I think the greatest advantage of ZBrush is the fluidity with millions of polygons, and multitudes of brushes which make the sculpture very friendly. TransPose is also widely used; fast and simple. So, following the lines of my workflow which is essential in the context, is the fluidity, TransPose and SubTools.

    Since you're so new to CG, the "breaking in" experience is still fresh in your mind. What advice can you give to other folks just starting out?
    Become what you are ... You may say that this is more metaphysical than concrete, pragmatic. That is precisely the point. Well, what I am saying is that everything is there, but we do not have conscience, and the only way to create that is the way of Love... of letting go. I mean that for anything, what needs to be will be, and trying to force it only pushes backward. They have nothing to achieve; it is not a "me" who wants to become, but rather let it be born in me. It's the same for all, so of course this advice applies to 3D. Love what you do. Enjoy, marvel, and step-by-step everything will become clear. Voila!


    What are your goals going forward?
    For the moment I'm concentrating on my studies and freelance. I'm also working on my first demo reel, which should emerge in the coming months. Beyond that, I have this project to go to North India. For the future, I let things go. But I still have a little intuition that I might end as a disciple or shepherd.

    What artist especially inspires you, and why?
    I just wanted to say that with people who inspire me or that I like there reason is common to all. I have a sympathetic vibration to their expression. The list could be extended to infinity, but as my conscience is limited I can say that those I recall in my mind (in alphabetical order): Alan Watts, Alex Gray, Andrew Gonzalez, Carlos Castaneda, DT Suzuki, De Es Schwertberg, Douglas Harding, Eckhart, Giordanno Bruno, Hegel, Ivan Titor, Jacek Yerkir, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Lao Tze, Leibniz, Leo Plaw, Ma moyi ananda, Marcel van Dujneveldt, Mario Martinez, Philip K. Dick, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Plotinus, Satoshi Sakamoto, Socrates, Spinoza, Terence McKenna. And especially my family and friends.

    What are your interests outside of art? How do you like to spend your free time?
    It is hard to define a line between art and non-art, All appears to me rather as a united mass where adjectives are unlimited, the spirit remains the same and art is everywhere... What is Art? A word? A relationship with the world, a way of perceiving what is. I have a little sentence that I say, trying to unite the words that divide us so much: Everything is Everything. Or the reverse is also true: Nothing is Nothing. This little sentence seems denied but I would say it is eternity, or born from infinity. Finally, it is a subtle way of saying that despite what we say, the universe remains silent and calm.

    Finally, a more rough concept here are small words that express some unspeakable interests: living, breathing, meditation, travel, reading, listening.


    Is there anything else you'd like to share while you have our attention?
    I want to say thank you to the Pixologic team. And especially to my parents for many things in fact. Finally I wish to reiterate that I work as a freelance artist. You can contact me samuel.poirier@gmail.com

    And thanks, Matthew for your time.

    Please thank Samuel for taking the time to speak with us and share his views of art and the world!

    Be sure to also check out our many past interviews, which can be found in the ZBrush Artist Interviews forum.


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  2. #2
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    Tres bonne entrevue!
    Very interesting interview!
    Nice to see you again and your art!

  3. #3
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    yep really interesting......

  4. #4
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    nice interview quite philosophical indeed ^^
    Lead character artist - Blur Studio

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  6. #6
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    Santa Monica, California


    hey Sam! Yea .. thats you! Philosophical as always !
    Congrats for the interview man! This should have happened a long time ago!!

    Take care mate!

    Rafael Grassetti

  7. #7
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    His artwork is very impressive. No disrespect to him but the way he speaks sometimes makes me wanna throw up. I just hate 'philosopher' language. It's so pompous and superficial. Still, if he's happy the way he is then it's all that matters.

    Anyway, awesome work!

    www.poserbargains.com - Bargains Poser props and OBJs
    If we had X symmetry in real life then I could brush my teeth much quicker.
    If we had Y and Z symmetry in real life then sex would be WAY more interesting.

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    I don't know what he's talking about most of the time, but I like his work. Great stuff!


  9. #9
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    Congrats ...you´re 19 ??
    That´s wow...really...WOW
    Last edited by Moni-Poroni; 01-20-09 at 08:59 PM.

  10. #10
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    Nice interview for the most part..

    And I agree with others- I think he's being overly wordy just for the sake of sounding smart. Half of his replies are pedantic and borderline new-age. His art is great, however.

    Example question:
    What are your interests outside of art? How do you like to spend your free time?

    Example answer:
    Baseball. Hanging out with my friends. Cooking. etc.

    All in good fun, no offense intended

    Last edited by testure; 01-19-09 at 09:53 PM.

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  12. #12
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    wow...i guess i was pretty full of it too when I was 19

  13. #13
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    phoenix az


    awsome work!!!!! love all the renders! 5 stars!
    [O.O] ..?
    -"--"- http://www.generalarmament.com

  14. #14
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    This guy is just 19?!! That's just.....that's just not fair. Awesome models.
    Last edited by mkk316; 01-19-09 at 11:28 PM.

  15. #15
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    Whoa....cosmic dude.
    The models are great......

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