Exclusive Interview with
Anatoliy Meymuhin

Karin Eszterhás



DA: Welcome to Digital Artworks Anatoliy and thanks for taking time to do this interview.

AM: Thanks for inviting me.

DA: I'm glad I found you...took some surfing on the internet clicking different links. Then suddenly I was captivated by the eyes of the beautiful Amazon.
Would you please start telling a little about yourself and where you come from?

AM: Yes, my name Anatoliy Meymuhin, I'm 31 years old, living in the city Rostov-on-Don in the South of Russia. I have been working as a computer's designer for 5 years.
I'm also working as a freelancer with 2D and 3D graphics (as a 3D modeler) and I'm
selling my art print and 3D pictures.
My main hobby is 3D art. I like art very much - especially fantasy, and music too - different variations of Metal.

DA: Your art is very expressive.... if you should describe it, what would you call the genre?

AM: I am always trying to show some special atmosphere and feelings in my art. I want an interaction to happen between the spectator and my pictures. I think this is the
main purpose of any art. Actually I don't know what to call my genre, I don't think the important thing for me is to name it, but since you ask - maybe "realistic fantasy"?

DA: Well, that covers it fine I think.
For how long have you worked with computer graphics - do you have a professional background …please tell me, how did it all begin?

AM: I have now made pictures for about 1,5 year. But with computer graphics, as I mentioned, my experience is about 5 years.
I came into it by accident a couple of years earlier, when I was engaged selling and servicing computers. For a period I was unimployed, and then I started calling some potential clients and offered my services. Fortunately among them was a small medical magazine and they invited me to work for them - not as a computer specialist - I was hired to do the layout of the magazine, except for the covers - they were made by a special designer. I used Adobe Page Maker to place text and photos in this (printed) magazine. It was a redaction (and advertising agency) - so I also made additional works such as colour calendars, booklets and other things.

I wanted to go on and I was always a very fast learner, so in half a year I became a computer
designer. I continued to work in Adobe Page Maker still doing layout, but I also began doing additional work and then became designer of full color covers for two monthly printed magazines. Now I work in another place too as a computer designer making advertisements for a newspaper.
But I realized that good and interesting covers very often don't use enough photos, if the budget of the magazine is very limited …they simply can't afford to pay for good photographers and photo models. Therefore I began to study 3D Max (that was version 1.2) - I read many tutorials on the Internet, because at the time books about 3D graphics were not available.
I also realized that I needed a more powerful computer if I wanted to do serious graphics, but unfortunately I only had a Pentium 133 with 32 Mb RAM at the time.

DA: Well it did not stop you as I can see …so what happened next?

AM: I had to postpone my plans to better times, and they came about 2 years ago. I bought an Athlon 900 with 256 Mb RAM - and with that computer I was able to do
fairly complicated models.
At about the same time I saw the images of my favorite painter Boris Vallejo http://www.suicide.couk.com/gallery/boris/borisg.htm - and I was totally amazed - I knew at once that I should learn to do images like his. But I didn't want to paint with water color, acrylic or oils - besides it would have taken a lot of time to learn those special techniques. Computer graphics was what I liked to do. Of course I could have used Photoshop and Painter, but 3D gives
so many additional opportunities: You can very easily turn around and move
all models, camera and lights…you can play with lights, material, effects and so on.
But I was aware, that for achieving good results in 3D Art - I needed to understand classical painting and photography very well. So I started to learn again ….and I'm continuing to learn.

DA: Are you inspired and influenced by other artists than Boris Vallejo?

AM: Yes, of course first of all by him and then Luis Royo. I am a self taught artist so I very often look at pictures by my favorite artists and study them.
There are plenty of great masters I like very much - Keith Parkinson,
Clyde Caldwell, Ken Kelly, Larry Elmore, Julia Bell, Earl Bowser just to mention a few - it's a very long list.

DA: You are working with different softwares ...which ones are you using?

AM: Usually it is 3DS Max with Shag Hair plugin for making the hair, DeepPaint 3D and Photoshop.

DA: And now a question you must have heard before. How do you create your characters?

AM: I always use spline modeling in 3DS Max.
Many people ask me if I do all models by myself or if I use Poser or other
generators - they also want to know how much work I do in Photoshop, and
how I can make my images so fast.
I use to answer: I never worked with Poser (I even don't have it). Actually I don't like how Poser models look in high resolutions. For art prints the final renders must be at least 2000 pixels for small sizes, and more for bigger ones…and I like doing all details by hand. I am trying to avoid any postwork in Photoshop, because my 3D view pictures need to be rendered from about 10 different camera angles. Check this link: (http://www.3dpictures.biz/scenegal/sg1/sg1.htm). This is the prints of pictures on a special material…. and when you turn the images around in your hands - you can see the picture under different angles.
For postwork in Photoshop I usually add only blur and "depth of field" effect and sometimes correct minor artifacts, which would be visible in very close up high resolution images.
By the way…I always show the wireview together with my finished images on my main homepage http://www.3dluvr.com/fantasy3d/Hipoly.html and sometimes also simple animations - fly camera around models.

DA: Let's take a look on your most recent picture - another beautiful woman: http://www.epilogue.net/cgi/database/art/view.pl?id=18918%20
Where are your ideas coming from?

AM: I have so many ideas, they can come from words of music (lyrics) and sometimes combinations of words, photos and the art. I think I have enough ideas for a lot of years in the future.

DA: How is your working process…and how long time does it take for you to create an image?

AM: When I am starting a new image, I don't begin from scratch. I reuse my own models when it's possible. But I change something on the model every time, and try to make it better. This technique gives me the opportunity to make new images much faster. It takes from 1 to 3 weeks to do a new image …depending on the difficulty of the scene. I make them in my free time - in the evenings.

DA: Do you have everything clear in your mind like lights, textures, colors
and so on when you start an image?

AM: Usually some main things are clear to me before I start an image. But then while working with it I'm trying different variants - as I told before 3D gives major possibilities for experiments.

DA: Now please tell me …how did the "Amazon and Dragon"come to life?

AM: I "have seen" this image in my mind - and all that was needed for me was to do it
in 3D. If I should describe how exactly I made it, it would be a large tutorial. I'm planning on writing a book with a step by step tutorial about how I do my images … very many people have asked me about this. But I need a lot of time if I shall write a book …so hopefully I'll get the time some day.

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

AM: Now it is Dual Athlon 1800 with 1Gb RAM, but I wait with impatience
for 64-bits processor systems.

DA: Hope you will get what you wish for soon.
I thank you on the behalf of Digital Artworks for this interview ... and wish you luck with your excellent artwork in the future.

AM: Thanks a lot. I want to wish all the readers and creative people luck and succes too, and invite everybody to my visit (and maybe comment some pictures) in my Art Gallery at http://anatoliy.epilogue.net/

For Digital Artworks
Karin Eszterhás.
September 2002