welcome to DA and thank you for this interview.
First, tell us about yourself. where you reside, your family
and how you spend your time while not doing 3d.
42 and reside in Hartsdale, New York U.S.A. which is just
north of NYC. I work for WABC-TV the local ABC affiliate here
in NYC. I am married to a wonderful understanding wife named
Ann who puts up with me spending too much time on my computer
and fishing. We have a 3 1/2year old son named Victor. Well
regarding my time spent not doing 3d, here again lies the
problem I spend too much time on my computer and if I can't
be found on my computer the only other place I would be is out
fishing. Kidding aside we spend lots of time camping or
fishing together and just enjoying our son and reliving our
childhood through his eyes.
you have a career in art and do you have any formal education
in either art or computer graphics ?
from college in 1980 with a fine arts background in painting
I've sold many paintings and
etchings and even mixed media drawings throughout my college
days in the late 70's as well as recently. I graduated in 1980
and wasn't sure what type of professional (career) art I was
going to aspire to. I spent a lot of time moving around from
different production art studios until I decide to make a
change and get a job at a TV station doing news graphics and
animations. That's when computers were really developing and
breaking new grounds. I started working at CBS here in NYC on
the overnight shift for a few years. I then took what I had
learned and moved over to WABC-TV. I am very fortunate here
because we get to learn and excel with some of the best
software out there in the digital world today (Macintosh
platform mostly). So at this stage of my art I have in the
last 8 years found what I believe to be the best way to
express my art outside of painting. I want to eventually make
my way over to an NT platform and get involved with higher end
programs such as Maya and Softimage and do some higher end 3d.
I have never received any formal training on any programs such
as classes etc. I learned all of the programs I know today
from learning and experimenting at my job.
you think your work influences your personal art ?
work definitely does not influence my personal artwork in any
way. Although the dichotomy between the two might be
interpreted as a need to release my creativity
differently from my job, my
personal artwork has always been of the Surreal and
psychological nature throughout my entire art career.
doing these interviews, I usually start with the subjects
early work and progress to the present. Surfing your site, I
was unable to determine whats old and whats new, it's all so
professional. Help me out Frank, describe some of your early
works and the progressions you have made since.
Well my early works
are not around most likely because I was still trying to make
a transition between the painting media and the digital realm.
I finally feel comfortable in
bringing my imagery across
within the applications available. I really enjoy tweaking and
finding just the right juxtaposition of light and shadow to
evoke a certain feeling I have
envisioned for an image. My
earlier works were still searching for that ease of use within
various applications. None of my earlier works were as
detailed and none had figures in them. It took a little while
but I feel very comfortable in using Poser in just the way I
think it deserves. Yes it has a lot of limitations but it can
do wonders if posed right with the proper limitations set on
the maximum and minimum controls to the body parts. I only
wish the skeletons were more detailed. I have learned to
really enjoy Bryce modeling in the last year, although I wish
it also had better modeling tools.The one and only meaningful
progression that I have made and I'll elaborate more later is
that I finally realized that most 3d rendered images need some
post rendering and if you need to use more than one
application you should use what ever you need to produce that
your images, like "Will
You Still Know Who You Are?" , and "Ethereal
Emergence" , the textures are amazing. Do you make
your own textures?
Yes I do make my
own textures and sometimes alter others. I have a lot of stock
textures but I never use them as is. I like to composite and
re-composite again in Photoshop and tweak until just right,
then save them as pict files for texture mapping in Bryce. I
enjoy making textures. My new web-site which I will be
launching in mid January will have some great bumpy metal
textures as well as supporting background textured imagery. I
just finished up my second CD cover this year. This one is for
a New Jersey Band named Razor Engine. I had so much fun with
coming up with a detailed texture look just for the cover that
I built my whole new web-site incorporating these new
textures. My site URL will remain the same.
see alot of post rendering work with all the lightning and
effects. What software programs do you use for your modeling,
rendering, and post rendering?
getting back to a previous comment about using whatever
software the image needs. Everything I do starts in Bryce and
pretty much is modeled in Bryce. I use Infini-d and Amorphium
for modeling and deforming objects that Bryce can't do. I
also use Tree Pro and Poser and I'm trying to understand
Carrara. I also use After Effects for some high end post work
like some of the best lightning available. I'll also use
After Effects for my lens flares. I import my Bryce pict file
and all or any mask renders as a Photoshop composition. The
good thing is that if I'm doing even a 300 dpi file for print
I can import an image up to 40,000 by 40,000 pixels and then
composite using the multitude of plug ins available for
special effects and compositing. I then save as Photoshop
layers and anything that I did is again produced on it's own
layer for further compositing and tweaking again in Photoshop.
The bad thing about Photoshop Lens flares is that they have to
be on a pixel based layer. In After Effects the are unmulted
on a single solid layer totally separate from the base image.
I can then tweak that layer in the exported Photoshop comp
later if I need to. The Lightning plug-ins that I've seen for
Photoshop are very poor compared to the available effects in
After Effects. The lens flares I use are Knoll Light Factory
which are motion picture industry standard in high end movies.
You have total control over creating and changing parameters
of every part of a lens flare with unbelievable control. I
find that Bryce images always lack the right contrast and
color saturation to come across believable so I always finish
up in Photoshop with any minor touch ups and color correcting.
us about your system.
use a Power Macintosh G3 with 384 megs of ram. As soon as I
can find cheap 256 DIMM cards on the internet I would love to
add more power to my shields. I put all memory that I can
without taking away from the operating system to Bryce
I'm composing heavy mesh
scenes. My recent image Darkness on your Faith
was really taxing on my memory
with all it's meshes and large polygon count froma whole lot
ask this to all my victims...who's your favorite artist? And
your favorite image by another artist.
this question is too hard to answer especially from what I've
seen around frequenting the gallery posting forums. There are
so many great artists out there I would have to name too many.
My favorite artist is and always has been Salvador Dali. As
far as a favorite piece of art, that's even tougher to name
than an artist on any gallery forum and as far as a URL, I
don't believe Dali has ever had any but as I mentioned on one
of my graphics, "If only Dali had Bryce and a
seems to be a dark side to your art, yet still very tasteful.
Where do you get your dark inspiration from?
think this is an area I often ask myself. My wife always says
that my work seems to lean in that direction also. To shed
some light on Kim Gleghorn's wonderful description of my work
on his (About Me) page favorite artist listings of his web
And I quote "if he does
sleep at night, where does he go?" I do get a lot of
inspiration from my dreams. As far fetched as it may seem, I
have always had great dreams that I wish I could make into
movies. So I settle for the next best thing and that's trying
to create intense snapshots. Not to say all my images come to
me that way. There are many that just seem to come to life on
their own not without subconscious influence from my waking
world I'm sure. I believe my desire to bring out some of these
images has propelled my need to experiment and come up with
new techniques to make these visuals come to life.
personal favorite of yours is "Darkness
on Your Faith". Tell me Frank, what is
going on in that scene, and where did you get all that
"Darkness on your Faith" was a combination of dream
influence and just taking
a visual concept of that dream
and solidifying the imagery to evoke a darker side of the
original. Every good soul has a darkness always lurking on the
edge waiting to jump in at a moments notice if given the right
circumstance, as in black has white, light has dark so shall
good have evil. This Illustration was originally to be titled
extraction of evil. I didnít want to show evil as a hideous
monster but rather mans own physical ties to the dark world
where flesh and bones are the one tie that binds him to this
world as well as to himself such as the cross. This image has
similar meaning as my "Soul
Struggle" Illustration depicts which by the way I
just finished reworking.
question Frank. Your site is awesome, with great graphics to
support your art. Did you build the site and the graphics, and
do you use an editor or create the entire site typing html?
built my entire web-site with all images I created in
Photoshop. I then jumped to its sister application,
ImageReady, to slice, optimize and create rollovers. I
actually don't know any HTML coding so I use authoring
programs that can build the codes behind the scenes
automatically. I'm re-designing my web-site and will be
launching the new look hopefully in mid January. All my URL
links will be the same with the exception of removing some
early works, none of which are mentioned here in the
interview. The new design was inspired entirely from the
textures I created while producing artwork for the CD I just
finished. All the imagery for my new web-site was textured and
in Bryce with some Photoshop
tweaking and text.
I would like to take this time
to thank you Jerry and all the residents at Digital Artworks
for letting me share these
thoughts with everyone and to thank you all for the humble
judging of my artwork.
Frank Picini, Artscapes
Frank, it's been a great pleasure spending the day at your
site preparing this interview. DA and I thank you whole
heartedly for participating in this interview. Great work,
keep them coming Frank.
for Digital Artworks