Exclusive Interview with

Juan Siquier

Karin Eszterhás

"El Patio Interior"


DA: Welcome to DA and thanks for taking time to do this interview.
Would you please start telling a little about yourself, your country, and personal background?

JS: My name is Juan Siquier, I am 44 years old, I live in Albacete, a small Spanish town in the South-Eastern part of Spain. I am married and I have a 7 year old daughter called Alicia.

DA: What is your profession?

JS: I am a professional musician, but since 2000 I have involved myself more and more into computer graphics, learning as I go. I have been a web designer in a local Internet services company, and a freelance graphic designer too. Now I am working on a cool project I am not allowed to talk about yet, but I hope it will be talked about a lot later, when it is published. I can only reveal that it is a CG Movie.

DA: For how long have you been doing computer graphics?

JS: My first contact with CG was about 10 years ago, then I had an Atari-ST and I passed the time drawing with the mouse in bitmap editing programs such as "Neocrome", "Degas" and "Canvas". I also stumbled on a program called CAD 3D by Tom Hudson and it became my first real contact with 3D. But it in 1996, when 3D Studio R2 for MS-DOS fell into my hands, I spent some time (not too much) exploring that program - but then I left CG for some years in favour of my music.
In 2000 I regained my interest for 3D Studio MAX when I got Internet access, and since then I never stopped working on personal projects for pure pleasure and amusement, motivated by the great welcome my work received in forums and 3D Art galleries.

DA: Do you have any other art experience...like painting or drawing?

JS: I have already mentioned that I have dedicated a good deal of my life to music, but I also have a strong feeling for painting and comics. I won some contests and I have participated in numerous collective and personal exhibitions.
In my town I was a member of the "Taller de Artes Plásticas" during some years, I worked in the "Círculo de Bellas Artes" of Madrid, and I got a scholarship for the "Art course of Almagro" (schools of fine art).
I have received lessons from great international famous artists such as Antonio López, Rafael Canogar and Manuel Villaseńor, but my greatest teacher was the Cuban master Gustavo Ojeda, with whom I spent one year travelling in Madrid drawing its streets.

DA: Which software(s) do you use?

JS: Always use 3D Studio MAX and occasionally advanced render systems such as Mental Ray, VRay or Brazil. I paint the textures by hand in Photoshop.

DA: Where are your ideas coming from, and how do you achieve the very photorealistic look? (Use an example from your gallery to explain this, and I will link to it in the text)

JS: When I am about to start a scene, I usually have a photographic reference of some place I would like to model and represent. Sometimes I like the photo so much that I incorporate very few variations in the CG scene, but sometimes I'll change many aspects of the photo to adapt it to my liking. My images "Daroca" http://www.juansiquier.com/render/daroca.htm
and "Captain street"
are examples of the first case, the models are sufficiently good and don't need any modification.
My goal is to achieve the maximum possible similarity with the photo. I use systems of global illumination and the textures will mostly be photographic (and not as much hand painted maps).
To achieve that realism, a profound observation of reality and great attention to detail, not leaving anything out even if it seems insignificant, is crucial.
However, other images like "DBT Café"


and "The old sawmill"
are very stylized representations of models that, although I was very attracted to them, needed some changes to fit completely with my personal style. The textures are less photographic and more illustration, since they are almost entirely painted by hand. I Introduce fine artistic ingredients that are not observed in the photorealism such as: How should I place the cables to divide the sky in satisfactory shapes? Where should I place the sun to achieve the wanted shape of the shadows? What range of colors would I want to be visible in the model/scene, whether or not they are there in the photographic reference?
Anyway, my goal is not always photorealism, but a manifestation of my own way of perceiving reality. The highest praise I could receive is: "Your work is very personal, easily identifiable by its style"

DA: Why do you like to do computer graphics?

JS: Because it is a nice combination of Art and technology and both things have always interested me a lot. I have searched for a way of combining both in one single activity for a long time, and I found it in 3D (when I made music it was also electronic). I really like to be in the computer environment, and besides I have always felt a great fascination in three-dimensional work, anaglyphs, sculpture, architecture, scale models and carpentry.

DA: I'm sure it will be of interest to our readers to know about your computer system?

JS: At the moment I have a PC Pentium4, 2.5 GHz with 1Gb of RAM, a GeForce FX 5900 Ultra, a Wacom Intuos2 A5 and a Nikon Coolpix 750.

DA: I thank you on behalf of Digital Artworks for this interview ... and wish you luck with your brilliant artwork in the future.

JS: Thanks to you for being interested in my work, and thank you for your great gallery, I will continue to post my latest works.
It has been a great pleasure being invited here.

For Digital Artworks
Karin Eszterhás
April 2004

Please visit Juan Siquier's Gallery here: