tell our readers about yourself, where you live, what you do
for a living, how you spend your time while not doing computer
live with my wife, Cathy; and my 2 sons, Michael, 16; and
Kevin, 14 in Decatur, Indiana. I'm a purchasing
Agent/Inventory Manager for an Electric Supply Warehouse (1 of
5 branches). When not doing graphics I spend my time just
doing average household chores. Laundry, dishes, cleaning,
running the boys to guitar and drum practice and helping my
parents out with odd jobs. I guess I'm just an average house
husband. I love to read and at times have been known to
you have any formal education in computer graphics?
I have none at all. The only experience that I can offer is
the Jr. High drafting classes about 30 years ago. I believe
they are what I can attribute my modeling skills to.
did you get started in Computer Art? (Tell us about Night
Hawks, the image).
could get intense. I received my first computer in January 95.
It was an old Packard Bell 8088 that ran at 3.3 MHz and had 2
5-1/4 floppy drives. It ran Dos 3.3 and I eventually forced it
to run Dos 5. After absorbing the book Dos for Dummies, I
realized I needed something new. In July of that year I found
a used unit that had a 10" b/w screen, a 286 processor
and no memory. It was sufficient to barely run Windows 3 and
AOL and that's when I found the Internet and those incredible
graphics (although they were in black and white). The
following summer; 96, an electrical storm came in by the modem
and smoked my baby forcing me to finally invest in a new unit
(aw shucks). That's when I purchased the unit that I have now
(although it has been modified quite a bit since then). I quit
AOL and signed up with a local ISP that summer and discovered
Microsoft Front Page and Jasc Paint Shop Pro. With a little
nudge from Al, my ISP; I used Front Page to publish my first
website and it just highlited a few of the pictures of Edward
Hopper (who is the creator of the Nighthawks image that I
first saw when I was in first grade). I must have signed up
for about a million things on the Internet back then because
catalogs started showing up on a regular basis and that's when
I first met Bryce and Adobe.
When I saw the
advertisements for these in the catalogs I just knew that
these were what I wanted. I think it was in the summer of 97
that I finally invested in Bryce, Poser, and Photoshop.
Actually it was my oldest son that learned how to use these
programs and showed me how to add textures and import objects
in Bryce. I was hooked and finally the dream that I had
carried with me since I first saw Nighthawks in first grade
began to take shape. I had always wanted to be an author, but
my lack of understanding of the English language severly
prohibited this. So, I concentrated on just making desktop
images for myself and my friends. I thought that they were
turning out fairly decent so www.nighthawks.com
<http://www.nighthawks.com> was born to showcase
what I was doing.
by Edward Hopper stirred that imagination in me at such a
young age and I made the decision to use that name for
anything creative that I would do. It is my hope that it
conveys the idea of mystery and intrigue that I feel each time
I look at it. (As a side note; I do have stories about the
people in the picture, but have never committed them to
earlier work, including the Boston
Cover Art, is all oriented to Sci-Fi. Where did you get
your inspiration back then?
I have always been
a Sci-Fi fan from the early works of Isaac Asimov, Frank
Herbert, Larry Niven, the Doc Savage series and so many more
that I could not possibly name them. Most of the early work
that I did was just experiments in learning the programs that
I had and giving tribute to the very people who had inspired
me. Especially Boston (my favorite band). Tom Scholtz is quite
an inspiration because almost all of his work was created in
you progressed, there are poser figures incorporated. Your
earlier Poser work is as awesome as any Ive seen. Cyber
show an extreme talent for presenting a living breathing
model. Can you explain how you get the models to look so real?
Their hair are perfect. Is it an object or do you post render
I had experimented
with early Poser 3 figures in Bryce 3D and was always
dissappointed in the results. There were just no decent
clothing for the models and I didn't want to post nude women
(although I have nothing against the nude form as long as it's
artfully presented). Then along came the innovative Poser 4,
Bryce 4 and Yamato and Mimi. Then everything changed! Mimi was
the finest model that I had worked with and Yamato from Tokyo,
Japan had created the facial morphs for this figure. I think
that I was the first to post an image using this model and
Yamato subsequently e-mailed me with his pleasure at the
I experimented with a few textures on the hair and usually do
very dark renderings so that the stiffness and solidness of
the hair cannot easily be noticed. About the only post render
that I do to images is in a hint that I read in a Bryce book.
I render at very large sizes and in Photoshop I use the
smudge, blend and rubber stamp tool to smooth out the
roughness of the 3D figures and any other nuisances that I can
find. Then resize the image and apply the filters that bring
out the colors and the effects that I'm going for.
switch from the ordinary to the orient........Suddenly David
Runyon is creating awesome renderings of subjects from the far
east. How and why did you make this drastic transformation?
I must blame Yamato. Because of Mimi (and eventually Nene and
Linlin) we became very good friends exchanging e-mail and my
visualizations of how his models could be presented. I even
became a beta tester for the new morph models that he came out
with and would offer suggestions on how they were working. I
first became interested in Japan when I saw Bruce Lee in the
weekly Green Hornet show (although he was Cantonese and more
of Chinese heritage-I didn't know that when I was that young).
The interest stayed with me all my life and became focused
toward Japanese culture and Art. Yamato was the spark that
brought that interest back to the forefront of my imagination;
and my current work is a tribute to his creativity and
modeling skills are evident in "Casual
Interest" and "Gosho
Guruma". How did you get started modeling and what
programs do you prefer?
was just looking for a way to create models for myself. I had
downloaded literally thousands of models that other people had
created but was thinking all along that I wanted to make
pictures with models that I could say were made be me. In the
many posts and articles that I had read on the Internet and in
magazines; the conclusion that presented itself was 3D studio
Max. I picked up a copy of it earlier this year and just dove
in. (I'm hoping my oldest son dives in too because I hate
you dropped the "NightHawks" signature, you have
used Japanese symbols as a signature. Tell us what they mean
to you and why you dropped the Night Hawks signature.
that is the influence of my dear friend Yamato. I asked him
early on if he could create a character for me (kanji) of
"Nighthawks". He sent 2 different characters and I
settled on "Yoru-no-taka" which I think means hawks
at night. (Again, mystery and intrigue).
you had to pick one image by any other artist to be your
favorite, what would that be? (Please include a link, if
has to be "Nighthawks" by Edward Hopper. After all,
thats what started all of this.
talk computers. Can you give our readers the scoop on your
system and why you chose the system you have?
the desktop unit with the 10" monitor was fried I went
out and bought a system that had a 133 Pentium processor, 16
meg of ram, a 13" color monitor and a 1.8 gig hard drive.
(Top of the line for it's time). Since then it has been gutted
and expanded to include a PII 400, 256 megs of ram, a 15"
monitor, an ATI 32 meg graphics card, 22 gig in hard drive
space, Altec Lansing subwoofer and speaker system (for those
wonderful MP3's). A Hewlett Packard scanner and an Epson
Printer that prints photographic copies of my work. I run
Windows 98 as the OS, and my render times have been cut from
36 hours down to about 3 or 4 hours for the really complex
scenes in Bryce.
can our visitors expect from you from here on out?
is probably the hardest question because I never know where
I'm going. I just let my imagination go, and follow it
wherever it leads. I never imagined that I could be considered
an artist. I never imagined that anyone would really like my
work. I never imagined that I would make friends all over the
world. The entire experience has been quite a shock and a
special blessing. All I can really say is thank you Lord.
Thank you to all of the people who have contributed to my
success (Yamato, Kozaburo (for his stunning hair models), Phil
Cook, Bushi, Willow, Paul Telesco, TranzorZ, H2, LoboUK,
Ghost, Ghostofmacbeth and so many others (sorry I cannot
remember all of you). It was the endless hours struggling with
the tutorials (I have an incredibly difficult time with
written text; I usually need to be shown before I can grasp
even the fundamentals). Hopefully I can create some Japanese
art that is worthy of the great "Edo" masters and
maybe I can be called the first American-Japanese artist of
the digital age.
Thank you so
very much for your interest and support Jerry.
David A. Runyon
(Still with so
very much to learn)
you David, it's been a pleasure working with you on this and I
look forward to more of your work
for Digital Artworks